Science Wānanga for rangatahi in the Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga rohe have been delivered at noho marae for over seven years in partnership between Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga and Otago University, supported by Hawke’s Bay DHB under Tūruki, the Māori Health Workforce Strategy.
Otago University supplies the lesson/ activity plans as well as kura liaison (student permissions etc) and up to 12 support team members of tertiary level tutors, the programme team, post-graduate students (activities & supervision) who all stay for the noho marae.
For every wānanga Te Manaaki Taiao of Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga supplies a mātauranga Māori theme derived from local whakatauki and the university tailors each programme to provide physics, chemistry and biology lessons to demonstrate mātauranga Māori in action.
After one of the wānanga Hiria Palmer, a Otago University coordinator of the programme at the time offered this feedback : ‘Although the overall objective of Science Wānanga is to help address educational inequities by supporting more Māori to contribute in science, cultural competencies were a highlight and added to the successful outcomes.
I’d like to recognise Marei (Apatu), his kaimahi team, and the marae. The meals and the manaakitanga were outstanding. I commend the Otago team for their respective expertise and congratulate the hosts, and the recipients experiencing Te Ao Māori for the first time’
Feedback from rangatahi was also positive;
- we need to keep our rivers clean for generations to come
- it made me see that we can make a difference even if we don’t do science as a job
- it made me realise the many opportunities you get within science
- it has opened my mind to think outside the box
- Made me more confident in science at school
And from participating teachers
- reinforced the importance of hands on tasks
- Love the theme linked to our community
- more students engaged makes the teaching easier
- wānanga are so valuable for our akonga to learn within this environment than in a school en
- Made it fun, interesting and relevant to our community
- Ehara au I te kaiako putaiao, hei o kua whakawhanui ake nga aronga kei hapai ake enei tauira
- It made me think about designing a unit to do school-wide at our kura
Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga values Otago University’s input and expertise for all the science wānanga we have collaborated on together so far and it is hoped the relationship continues to grow and strengthen.