House of Science embraces greener travel

Farmer Autovillage Nissan sales manager Roger Matthews, House of Science CEO Chris Duggan behind the wheel, and Driveline Fleet Ltd’s BOP business consultant Rob Price. Photo: John Borren.

A Tauranga-based charitable trust dedicated to improving science learning in classrooms throughout the country is practising what it preaches by getting on the electric vehicle bandwagon.

House of Science this week received four new electric vehicles so it can continue its mission to provide comprehensive bilingual science resource kits to schools nationwide. This in turn gives teachers confidence teaching science in the classroom and results in engaged students.

Car leasing business Driveline, which has been supplying vehicles to House of Science for seven years, handed over the keys of four Nissan Leafs at the Farmer Autovillage showroom in Mount Maunganui. The cars have been signwritten by signage experts Computastyle Signs (now CS Signhouse).

House of Science CEO and Bay of Plenty local Chris Duggan already drives a fully electric Kia Niro.

Chris says the vehicles will be used by the charity’s new team of Professional Learning and Development facilitators, across the North Island, who work closely with teachers in House of Science member schools. The facilitators also enable connections between local businesses, scientists, and schools to help bring the local curriculum to life for students," says Chris.

“As the CEO I do a lot of travelling to meet with businesses to try and drum up sponsorship because we receive very little funding from government. Our facilitators, who work closely with teachers in our member schools, are also on the road a lot delivering professional development to ensure staff are well supported when using our awesome resource library.

“We made the decision to go with EVs because it’s only logical for a science organisation to look at new technologies that improve the world around us. Looking after the environment and doing whatever we can to be conscious consumers is extremely important to us.”

Chris says almost half of their fleet is now electric with five fully electric vehicles, including her own, and a plug-in hybrid Outlander.

“We obviously want to be fully electric but currently there are no economical fully electric van options available to deliver our kits to our branches. But never say never. Our goal is to be fully electric by 2025.

“I’m proud to be leading an organisation that is dedicated to doing whatever it can to save the planet and our wallet! We are also hugely thankful for Driveline and the excellent service they have provided us over the years.”

Rob Price says Driveline Fleet Ltd has been working with the House of Science for years, and believes Chris and her team do a fantastic job of delivering science education into schools.

“And with the way fuel prices and carbon emission requirements are going, an alternative is going electric. Driveline has expertise in finding EVs to suit each business’ requirements and we’re happy to assist anyone that needs lease vehicles.”

House of Science was founded by Chris in 2014.

Today there’s 17 HOS branches and around 25 per cent of NZ schools are members. Each week at least 260 resource kits go into schools, reaching about 7000 students.

To learn more, or see how you can help HOS reach more students, visit:

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