Lifetime Members – Peter Spratt Medal

The award recognises a sustained contribution to science education in New Zealand

About the award

In 2007, senior manager education at the Royal Society of New Zealand Peter Spratt passed away suddenly. Peter was at the Royal Society for 14 years, where he was responsible for the promotion of support of science education.

Peter’s career began in teaching: he was head of science at Wesley College and taught the subject at all year levels. New Zealand’s geology and natural environment were very inspiring to him: he took students outside on field trips and plate tectonics was a special focus.

He was appointed National Chief Examiner School Certificate Marker for Horticulture, as well as marking school certificate science papers. He also became very involved as part of a small team preparing national syllabus guidelines and teaching resources on agriculture across the curriculum for the Department of Education.

Peter joined Teacher Support Services in Wellington as a school science adviser in 1991 working in-depth with teachers to implement The New Zealand Curriculum: Science before joining the Royal Society in 1994.

He regularly attended SciCon and other education conferences and mentored many science teachers, was a visiting lecturer in the United States, researched quaternary beetles and was involved in BioBlitz field expeditions.

His dedication and contribution to science education lives on, and the Peter Spratt Medal reminds us of his leadership and vision.


2020 Ian Torrie, St Cuthberts College, Auckland
2020 Jessie McKenzie (Honorary)
2018 Denis Burchill, University of Auckland
2016 Rosemary Hipkins, NZCER
2014 Jenny Pollock, HOD Earth and Space Science, Nelson College for Girls
2012 Carolyn Haslam, Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland
2010 Jacquie Bay, LENScience, Auckland
2008 Ian Milne, Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland (Inaugural medal)