Staff from GNS Science have visited Masterton to finalise arrangements for a hands-on science event for intermediate-age and college students in Wairarapa.
The ‘Discover Hidden Worlds’ GeoCamp will be a 10-day field-based learning experience for about 30 students and their teachers from central Wairarapa. It will run from May 7 to 18.
GeoCamps are designed to awaken the inquiring scientist in students through curiosity-driven, problem-solving activities and field trips. They also provide professional development for teachers who participate.
GNS Science has held successful GeoCamps in Napier, New Plymouth and Kaitaia in the past six years.
The event, at no cost to students, will be run from a central site during school hours. Six schools in the Wairarapa region have signed up and will be sending year 7, 8 & 9 students and teachers. It will involve a mix of classroom activities and field sessions, depending on the weather.
GeoCamp co-leader Kyle Bland, a geologist at GNS Science, said the aim is to create an environment as close to doing ‘real science’ as possible so students could experience the power of discovery for themselves.
“Themes will be ecology, climate, environmental change, and the geological history of Wairarapa,” Dr Bland said.
Field trips are planned to places such as Castlepoint, Lake Wairarapa, and Mangaopari Stream.
Three GNS Science staff will be in Masterton for the event, with others visiting for shorter periods to share their specialist expertise.
“By showing what they have discovered to their community, the students take ownership of their learning experiences. This empowers them to communicate their discoveries, just as real scientists do.”
The scientists are also planning a couple of evening presentations and the topics will be ‘Geology of the Wairarapa region’ and ‘An Introduction to GNS Science research in Antarctica.’