• Karamu High School students experience science in an authentic New Zealand context

Karamu High School students experience science in an authentic New Zealand context

Stepping outside of the classroom, a group of Karamu High School students was able to learn science in an authentic New Zealand context.

The Noho Marae experience for the accelerate Year 9 science class saw students stay over at the school’s whare (Te Poho o Rongokako) and prepare and cook a hangi.

Mr Jon Matthews, Assistant Head of Faculty Science, said his students were learning about Heat Transfer and the Noho Marae was a good chance for them to learn the concept in a unique setting.

The preparation and laying of a hangi and the history of the whare was covered over the evening. As well as developing their Science practical skills, they were able to also develop key skills including cooperation, collaboration, and self-management.

“The positive responses from the families of the students when they were served their hangi, were a testament to the hard work and effort the students had put in at the preparation stage.”

“We look forward to trialling this concept again with other Year 9 classes within different learning areas.”

While some students had experienced it before with their own whānau or primary school, for others it was a new experience.

Ariel Sajan, 13-years-old, said the highlight of the experience was learning more about the Māori culture, and bonding with her classmates.

Joseph Hooper-Gilmore, 13-years-old, said it was fun to be able to go through the process of digging the hole for the hangi, and then lifting it out of the ground.

He particularly enjoyed learning about the specific volcanic rocks needed to withstand the heat.

English teacher Karen Beaumont, said she was proud of the students for stepping outside their comfort zones and showing perseverance.

“I get to know my kids in a different way and see them from a different perspective rather than just in the classroom, and that’s the important thing.”

They were able to incorporate writing throughout the experience. Afterwards, they wrote an informal reflection in the form of a postcard to a friend, and then a more formal letter to one of the teachers who supported them over the two days.