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  • Our pānui for Oketopa introduces our latest resources. There’s something for everyone – with opportunities to explore mātauranga and local curriculum, observation and more!

    Planning ideas for term 4

    We hope the time away from school will afford educators a much needed break. When you are ready to return to the classroom, we are here to help!

    Need some fun science ideas for what to do these October spring holidays? Never fear we've got it covered in this listing of events all across the motu.

    Mahinga kai and local curriculum

    Mahika/mahinga kai is a highly significant concept for Māori. The term can mean ‘to work the food’ – relating to the gathering of kai and the ecosystems and habitats in which these species are found. This includes the intergenerational practices and tikanga used to produce, harvest and protect them. The article Mahinga kai explores these concepts along with suggestions for local learning and action.

    The interactive Mahinga kai – natural resources that sustain life highlights some common species and practices. It features beautifully crafted videos from Ngāi Tahu Mahinga Kai and curates resources from the Hub and other sites.

    Explore food and resource-gathering traditions in this interactive image map.

    Mahinga kai – natural resources that sustain life

    Explore food and resource-gathering traditions practised by Ngāi Tahu whānau in Te Waipounamu.

    Download the PDF A framework for using the Ngāi Tahu Mahinga Kai video series to teach social studies.

    Citizen science opportunities

    The warmer weather provides an excellent reason to get outdoors and become citizen scientists! Myrtle rust affects new growth so spring is the perfect time to become a myrtle rust reporter. All you need is a cell phone and keen eyes. The Pieris Project involves another unwanted organism that is active in spring – the white butterfly.

    There are great indoor opportunities, too. The newest projects on the Hub include Floating Forests – identifying kelp forests in NASA’s Landsat photographs and Spyfish Aotearoa – identifying and counting fish in 10 second video clips.

    Growing observational skills has links to ‘warm-up and stretch’ students’ observational skills before practising the skills in the (school) field.

    Rights: Jenny Saito, CC BY-NC 4.0

    Shrubby torotoro

    Shrubby torotoro (Muehlenbeckia astonii) is an endemic shrub that is nationally endangered, with 90% of the wild population found at Kaitōrete Spit on the Canterbury coast.

    Sourced from iNaturalistNZ.

    A focus on the past as a guide for the future

    The Hub team are fans of The Conversation and reprint pertinent articles. Here are two recent articles for the evolutionary biologists, complete with wrap-around teaching and learning resources:

    Planning tools at your fingertips

    If you are stuck for ideas or want to pop all of your thinking in a central space then the Hub’s collection tool is what you need. The article Creating collections offers step-by-step guidance on how to use the online tool and has links to 50 collections the team has created and that you can copy and make your own. It’s all free – you just need to sign in.

    Rights: The University of Waikato Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato

    Using the collection tool

    You can see at a glance lots of information about your collections. which ones are private and which are public, how many resources and notes are in each one and who the collaborators are on a collection.

    Follow us

    We offer added value through our social media. Contact us about creating collections or boards tailored to your needs. We can help foster connections between the education and science communities.

    Your feedback

    We hope you enjoy using the Science Learning Hub – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao in your teaching and would love to hear from you. Your comments, ideas and feedback can be emailed to

    Noho ora mai

    Science Learning Hub – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao

    Published 29 September 2022 Referencing Hub articles
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