News article

Pūtaiao Tamariki – October/November 2020

Facilitating the Pūtaiao Tamariki sessions, an engaging science discovery programme for Year 5/6 students which focused on hands-on, interactive outdoor- based learning was an absolute privilege to be involved with. This programme was delivered by Methodist Mission Southern with funding support from the Community Trust South.

Over 6 sessions the programme provided tamariki opportunities specifically designed to extend science know-how and confidence, whilst supporting and encouraging the growth of their life-skills. Travelling via minivan to different science environments within the community, and with whānau welcome to join the sessions it was great to have three schools Ascot Community, Donovan and Waverley Park involved with this programme.

Science observation skills – sight, hearing, feel, taste and smell – transferred to the natural world heading out around the pond track using senses to notice and learn about the natural world around us. Making animal tracking tunnels to take back to school was fun and prompts lead to some predictions on what type of things may leave tracks on the paper in the tunnel. The Southland Community Nursery also lent well to learning about and exploring different habitats and getting an idea of what lives where. The role of kaitiaki and caring for the environment was explored throughout the sessions.

Other sessions included becoming freshwater scientists to measure the health of the water of the Otepuni and exploring the significance of rivers to early Māori and the way in which rivers sustained life, and viewing the world of Queens Park as a physicist exploring solids, liquids and gases, forces and energy.

It was great to share my passion helping tamariki to engage with science and the environment in fun ways.