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Education programmes

We’re helping to educate and inspire the next generation of earth-conscious citizens.

We offer a range of programmes for preschool, primary, secondary and tertiary levels, adult education, and community groups. School programmes are designed to link with components of the national curriculum. Choose between programmes based in the Vanished World Centre in Duntroon, field-based programmes, or a combination of the two.

School of Rocks

Waitaki Whitestone Geopark has teaming up with the local primary school in Duntroon to deliver our first formal education programme, School of Rocks, throughout the 2019 school year. School of Rocks has been delivered fortnightly to four classes (93 students) at Duntroon School through a series of hands-on exercises and experiences and are usually held at the Vanished World Centre in Duntroon.

 

The goal of School of Rocks is to use local geology as a medium through which to get primary school students engaged in science and technology. Students will explore earth science and spatial technology through a series of hands-on exercises and experiences driven by the scientific process. The principle learning outcome for students is that they gain the skills they need to become responsible kaitiaki (stewards) of the geologic heritage within the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark.

During the final stages of this programme, each class will put their knowledge into action by leading an action project. Action projects aim to raise community awareness of local geologic heritage, and will focus on issues relevant to each class group.    

School of Rocks is supported by MBIE’s Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund. Learn more about Unlocking Curious Minds here. View the entire list of Unlocking Curious Minds projects receiving funding in 2019: [PDF, 91 KB]

Citizen Science

Did you know that you can contribute to research while on your outdoor adventures? Citizen science involves volunteers making observations and/or collecting hands-on measurements of some kind, and sharing the data with scientists who use them to solve problems or monitor processes.

 

New apps and online projects enable anyone to engage in citizen science, collecting and analysing data on a huge variety of topics. Below are some of the New Zealand-based apps that you can use to record what you see in nature:

iNaturalist

Your observations can help scientists and resource managers understand where and when organisms occur. Log your observations with iNaturalist and contribute to scientific data repositories, or connect with experts who can help you identify the organisms you observe. 

Geonet Felt Earthquake Reports

Did you feel an earthquake? Log a ‘Felt It’ report with Geonet. By logging the intensity of the shaking you experienced, you can help GeoNet understand the extent of ground shaking and damage resulting from a particular earthquake. It only takes about 30 seconds! Visit GeoNet online, or log your observations and view recent earthquakes in New Zealand on the GeoNet app for iOS  or Android.

Department of Conservation Marine Mammal Sightings

Use the online form to report a marine mammal sighting and help to inform the development of protection measures for marine habitats.

Department of Conservation Amphibian and Reptile Distribution Scheme

Record your sightings of amphibians and reptiles using the card available online, and contribute to our understanding of the distribution of distribution of species, identifying un-defined species, monitoring introduced species, and preventing the spread of new, accidentally introduced species.

New Zealand Plant Conservation Network Phenology Recording System

Record observations of phenology—plant and animal life cycle events—and help to better understand how these are influenced by variations in climate.

NIWA How Deep is the Snow at Your Place?

Measure the depth of the snow and report it online to help NIWA map snowfall at low elevations, important for monitoring water resources and  snow-related risks.

An inventory of citizen science programmes compiled by the NZ Landcare Trust can be found here.

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"What a fantastic window into the past. Today we saw fossil bones in limestone at two different sites. One set were whale bones. Just awesome that this trail has been put together, maintained and promoted."

— Mark Shipman, 

Vanished World visitor

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