A collaborative approach
Eco Warriors is an initiative between Te Kura Taiao Collective and Rotorua Primary that aims to integrate science more explicitly within our localised curriculum as well as showcase hands-on science for our Year 7 and 8 tāonga as they transition to high school.
Localising our science learning - in the field and in the classroom
Our Eco Warriors program takes students out into the field at Whakarewarewa Living Village to explore geothermal flora and fauna from a Matauranga Māori perspective - understanding what we see in the here and now and learning how our tupuna lived and cared for the whenua in years gone by.
We then bring our learning back into the classroom and with the help of some pretty neat collaborations (Department of Conservation DOC, University of Victoria) we explore what that learning can look like for us now and in the future.
Understanding the importance of the role our ngahere plays in the future sustainability of our planet is key to fuelling the engagement and innovation in science for our tamariki - setting them up to be the trailblazers of the future.
Connecting to the wider scientific community
Providing a wider context, we have guest speakers from Rotorua Lakes Council and Victoria University to engage on a local and tertiary level - opening opportunities for future study and careers for our taonga.
During our whakapapa taiao learning we broadened our understanding of the natural world to looking at eco systems from the perspective of the māori gods.
Increasingly, being able to offer a uniquely te ao māori perspective on traditional learning areas such as putaiao (science) makes it more engaging and relevant for our learners.
Te Arawa Maramataka
As ever, we consider our Te Arawa Maramataka when engaging with our taiao - making connections with our whenua to support learning and wellbeing.
As part of our localised curriculum understanding hauora (wellbeing) through a whare tapa wha lens is important to be able to bring what we have learnt about rongoa, Matariki and ngā koromatua together in a Te Arawa context to be able to get the absolute most out of our day of learning.
In our outdoor learning space we have the Maramataka (calendar) and guide that shows us the best days to do things based on energy levels and moon phases.