Mark Talks to his Kamo High Science Teacher

Mark, one of our student ambassadors talked to us about what he likes about studying in New Zealand and shared an interview he did with his Chemistry teacher at Kamo High School.


First of all, what I enjoy about the education system here in New Zealand is how interaction in class is encouraged, which I found encouraged me to think and apply that knowledge while learning to express that knowledge amongst your peers. This sort of education is effective and will help me learn to express my knowledge, rather than just memorizing certain information.

I came from a British School (GCSE) education. Having students focus on memorizing and sitting quietly was simply outdated and ineffective, at least from my experience. So it was new to me having students interact with each other and the teacher as well.

Interview with Mr Richard Pollard

Why did you choose to teach the subject you’re teaching?

Good question. Its always been something I’m interested in like all the time I love Science. Ever since I was young, I found Science as the most exciting subject in school, so I carried it on, carried it on, you know? You have to follow whatever you’re interested in. I was interested in Biology, to be honest. Still, as I got into my senior years, I felt that Chemistry was a better explanation for how things work by drilling straight to the core of the issue. Whereas, Biology explains the results of the chemistry.

I got to study Chemistry at University, and it’s interesting once you gain in-depth knowledge. So I worked in various chemical industries for a while. Later in life, I thought, “actually I don’t want to do this anymore, I want to teach Science.”. Since I specialize in Chemistry, I decided to teach this field of Science.

What do you love about Science as a subject? 

Well, generally speaking, I believe Science is astounding because it’s a way of understanding the world, which is fascinating. As humans who exist in a universe, its a way of overcoming challenges we have in observing things and the biases we have. We don’t know that much, really, and we are subject to misunderstanding things; Therefore, Science is an excellent way of taking that out of the equation, so “what is really happening around us?”. As conscious parts of the Universe, I think the best thing we can do with our lives is to learn about the Universe, experience it, and understand it. And I feel accomplished by showing people the remarkability of how the world works.

For me, chemistry is my preferred Science because it goes to the bottom of everything. So you go, “Well, what’s the simplest and smallest thing in the Universe, and how do they behave?” So by building up from that, only then can we understand the next part and the next part and eventually, we can appreciate the big things and how they operate.

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