Add to collection
  • + Create new collection
  • This Connected article is about a class project that 7–8-year-old students conducted after their teacher challenged them to find out how the smell gets into a scented candle. In the process, they learned about distillation, states of matter and what it takes to become scientists and technologists.

    Rights: Crown 2020

    Connected article: Making scents

    An article in the 2020 level 2 Connected journal ‘Digging deeper’ published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

    Candle photograph by Simon Waterfield, and scent illustrations by George Frost.

    The Science Learning Hub was delighted to capture some of the learning from this project on video. There is detailed information about this project in the article Distilling oils and hydrosols. Building science capital at Toko School looks at the multiple learning opportunities provided through this project – including video reflections from students, the teacher, the principal and a parent.

    Rights: Venture Taranaki

    Using an authentic context for teaching science

    Classroom teacher Sue Fergus reflects on the impacts a distillation project has had on her students’ learning as well as her development as a teacher

    Check your school library for the article from the 2020 level 2 Connected journal ‘Digging deeper’, download it as a Google slide presentation from Tāhūrangi or order it from the Ministry of Education.

    Rights: Crown 2020

    2020 Connected level 2: Digging deeper

    The cover of the 2020 level 2 Connected journal ‘Digging deeper’ published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand. This issue includes the articles ‘Squawkzilla’, ‘City of bugs’, ‘Whakaotirangi and her kete of kūmara’ and ‘Making scents’.

    Teacher support materials

    The teacher support material (TSM) can be downloaded from Tāhūrangi (Word and PDF files available).

    It has two learning activities that support the science and technology aspects of the New Zealand Curriculum:

    • Scentsible science
    • Distilling it down.

    An extension activity idea includes the offer to reach out to Toko School so they can share what they have done and how they worked to build a community of young scientists and technologists.

    Related content

    This case study explains the pedagogy and processes used for a year 9 visit to a lavender farm to investigate the production, packaging and marketing of lavender oil.

    Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.

    Connecting educators and scientists

    One of our core purposes at the Hub is building authentic relationships between the science and education communities and supporting those communities with real-time interactions. Find out more in the article The Hub and social media: How can we help?

    The Hub article Connecting with scientists has insights on how to locate experts willing to make online or school visits. The associated activity Communicating with scientists – interview techniques and protocols offers a framework to help students get the most out of the experiences.

    Useful links

    Read how Jim Bennett went from extracting oil and gas from the ground to extracting essential oils in this Stuff article.

    The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details, contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email


    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 4 May 2021 Referencing Hub articles
          Go to full glossary
          Download all