Curious Minds Fund gives Tūhura Papatūānuku Geo Noho the means to keep delivering

Media Release

07 December 2022

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Hands-on science, which weaves te reo Māori and Mātauranga Māori, will continue for Te Hiku tamariki with funds secured to keep the programme going.

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Field trips were followed by analysis and discussion at Waimanoni Marae of what students had found during the day

The marae-based science wānanga aims to improve the access of science resources for young Māori and help them learn about the environment (te taiao). The week of learning aims to get the tauira (students) excited about science, te reo Māori (Māori language), and Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge).

Over the week, year 7 and 8 students each and their teachers are engaged with inquiry-based hands-on experiential learning through field trips, which are then followed by lessons back at the marae, often looking at what they collected during the day. Activities have been improved over time to be more focussed integration with Mātauranga Māori and new science activities responding to Far North community interest (lake restoration, sea level change, ground water, kauri), and a new set of engagement resources.

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Jess Hillman helps students take a sediment core from Lake Ngatu

After the last Geo Noho in August, Te Aho Tū Roa Programme Kaiwhakapūmau / Poutautoko Joanne Murray said taitamariki in the Far North shouldn’t have to miss out on these experiences because they live remotely. "They should be able to get some of the top scientists and top geologists in front of them to help consolidate their learning as well as marry it up with Mātauranga Māori, so that’s what we did."

Our tupuna were scientists in their own right and we should be sharing both body knowledge at the same time. So, a dual provision of education for our taitamariki to understand we can actually walk in both worlds. GeoNoho is about not just western science perspective but also Mātauranga Māori, kōrero tuku iho (histories), Atuatanga Māori as well.

Joanne Murray Programme Kaiwhakapūmau / Poutautoko Te Aho Tū Roa
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GNS Science Paleontology Team Leader Joe Prebble talking about drawing contour lines on the sandcastles

Tūhura Papatūānuku has grown and evolved since 2020. The experience is co-designed and co-delivered by Far North REAP, who deliver education opportunities to rural communities, and Te Aho Tū Roa, a Māori culture, language and wisdom programme for education and community settings, Te Rarawa iwi, and GNS Science, Te Pū Ao. This project is supported by a strong portfolio of co-funding, including staff time from Far North REAP, Te Aho Tū Roa, and GNS Science.

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The Augmented Reality Sandbox allows students to create topography models by shaping real sand, which is then augmented in real time.

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