Behind the House of Science

Beryl McKinnell.

For Beryl McKinnell, finding work at House of Science in Tauranga has been a way for her to engage with her new community.

“You can’t live in or move to a new community without getting out and meeting people,” says Beryl.

”And it helps me to keep my hand in; to keep me in touch with the world of science.”

Beryl has always known the merits of belonging to community groups. She spent 21 years in the Kiwanis Club of Manukau, was treasurer of the Manukau Science Fair committee and has also recently joined the Lions Club of Katikati.

In April 2015, Beryl called House of Science director Chris Duggan looking for a job.

“Chris said she didn’t have any work right now, but that I could come and volunteer.”  

Beryl thought it would be a great way to get in touch and network with other teachers, and thought “who knows, there might be a job in it for me one day”.

House of Science has been up and running since 2013 and provides after-school and holiday science programmes for primary school children.

Beryl believes the work House of Science does is invaluable for the community.

“It’s amazing, there were no real resources for primary schools, and now the Bay of Plenty have an incredible resource here at House of Science if they belong to it.”

Chris says Beryl’s knowledge and background in science makes her an instrumental House of Science volunteer.

“We are very privileged to have her as part of the team. Her knowledge and background in science is crucial to us; she understands how teachers think, and her input in developing resource boxes for our schools is a vital role for our organisation.”

With about 50 volunteers at House of Science, Beryl says Chris manages to make each and every volunteer feel like a part of the place.

Beryl’s advice for those who are thinking about volunteering is to “find something that fits for you”.

You can get involved with the House of Science by contacting them directly on 07 571 5989, or through Volunteer Western Bay of Plenty, which will assist you on how to get involved in volunteering for your organisation of choice.