Economies are becoming more reliant on science and schools are being urged to get with the times.
The Education Review Office has found just 27 percent of schools have effective or generally effective science programmes for students between the ages of 8 and 12.
It believes a key reason for that is a lack of confidence about teaching science.
New Zealand Association of Scientists president Professor Shaun Hendy says science is critical in the modern world.
"You need a good education in science and technology. In 10, 20 years time we're going to be even more dependent on scientists and technologists and engineers so it's really important that the kids today are getting a proper education in science and engineering."
He says science is often seen as too complicated by teachers.
But he wants to see the industry helping out.
"Certainly increasing the number of science graduates and perhaps helping some of them, helping science graduates go in to teaching would be a good start."
Mr Hendy says increasingly the world is relying on science and innovation, and if we don't improve teaching now, we'll face big problems in years to come.