Dawn, Queen of Kiwrious

2 min readSep 21, 2021

Let us introduce Associate Professor Dawn Garbett, we call her the “Queen of Kiwrious” as a director of Kiwrious she also leads our science education programme.

Dawn has been working with pre-service and practicing teachers in primary and secondary schools at the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland. Dawn started her education journey teaching at Selwyn College, Auckland, before completing a Masters in Science, Science Education from Curtin University, and her Doctorate from Monash University, Australia while she was teaching at the University.

Dawn showcasing the Kiwrious Class Kit

My role is to foster teachers’ confidence and competence to teach science in relevant and authentic ways. For students to be enabled to work in the ways scientists do — asking questions that are important and meaningful to them, giving them the tools and guidance to answer those questions.

Dawn works closely with the professional learning development community of Kiwrious teachers from all around New Zealand. Once the online science resources are created she liaises with the teachers to trial them, enhance them and obtain student feedback. The teachers are then free to modify and re-share into the community for everyone to create more engaging science learning.

Let’s hear from Dawn about what she enjoys about working at Kiwrious?

Absolutely everything! I love that doing science is such a buzz for students. This is much more than googling answers — this is really answering questions that are meaningful and novel. Who would have thought to compare the Volatile Organic Compounds released when you crush leaves?

What is your favourite sensor and why?

I think perhaps the Volatile Organic Compound sensor because Rongoā fascinates me. These are herbal remedies sourced from the traditional Māori medicinal practices in New Zealand.

What is your favourite city in the world and why?

Dawn between the tectonic plates

It is never the city that appeals so much as the people and experiences that I have had in different places. I am very fortunate to have travelled to Iceland and seen the Northern Lights playing and stood between the tectonic plates. I have been to a wedding in Poland; Broadway in New York to see Wicked; Edinburgh to eat haggis, neeps and tatties; Sherbrooke in Quebec to stay with a friend, walk her dog and eat poutine.

When Dawn is not teaching teachers she can be found seeking the sunrise every morning to start her day in a positive frame of mind after a decent night’s sleep.




Kiwrious’ social mission is to foster a scientifically literate generation through their Kiwrious Science Experience.