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Science Wānanga FAQ

How is Science Wānanga delivered

Science Wānanga is designed around a theme in collaboration with the local community and offers two night-three day interactive science experiences for Māori secondary students, based on marae and in communities. These are facilitated by tertiary students, scientists and the local community. Science is presented alongside mātauranga Māori (traditional knowledge) provided by kaumātua (elders), and this encourages students to see the connections between 'western' science and matauranga.

Mauria mai – What to bring

Each Science Wānanga is designed around a theme in collaboration with the local community and so the necessary gear to bring differs between each Wānanga. The following is an initial list of gear that will be required. Generally, we spend time outside for fieldwork in rain or shine so it is best to be prepared for all weather.

  • Sleeping bag
  • PJ’s
  • Torch
  • Towel
  • Warm clothes
  • Sun hat & sunscreen
  • Water bottle (named)
  • Polypro/thermal top and pants
  • Waterproof/windproof jacket (lightweight if possible)
  • Shoes (you don’t mind getting wet)
  • Shoes for walking/running around
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc)
  • Personal medication (e.g. inhalers or allergy treatment)
  • Ear-plugs (if you’re a light sleeper)
  • Pen and notebook
  • Thoughts, feelings, ideas, stories, enthusiasm, aspirations & inspiration!

Engagement Guidelines

The following guidelines outline the operational expectations of students, teachers, schools and whānau during Science Wānanga. Schools, their teachers and students participation. Schools, their teachers and students particpation in wānanga will be in accordance with the criteria set out in the application to attend.

Selection Process

In selecting students, teachers and whānau to attend Science Wānanga, please consider the special circumstances of staying on a marae:

  • The 24-hour nature of multi-day trips add to the supervision role.
  • The shared sleeping arrangments in the wharenui with approximately 50 other teenages, tertiary students and adults.
  • A willingness to demonstrate respect for self and others is paramount along with keeping your own personal possessions neat and tidy.
  • Enthusiastic and supportive adults encourage active participation by students.


Students are expected to participate fully in the wānanga in accordance with their usual school policies on behaviour and conduct when on Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) trips, as well as health and safety requirements of the venue and wānanga. Students in breach of these standards will be asked to return home at their own and/or schools' expense.

Schools are expected to provide students and teachers with code of conduct and relevant EOTC policy.


Each school must provide teachers to supervise and care for their students for the duration of the wānanga (including sleeping over, rostered kitchen, dining room and cleaning duties) in accordance with their usual school policies on teacher care and supervision of students and teacher:student ratios. Students without adequate teacher supervision will not be permitted to Science Wānanga.

Teachers should consider the professional development opportunity of attending wānanga with a view to sharing new knowledge in a suitable forum with their colleagues on their return to school.


Whānau are encouraged to attend wānanga alongside their students and should they choose to do so, participate fully in accordance to their schools' usual expectations of whānau participation in school activities.


All participants are expected to be adequately briefed to participate in the pōwhiri process and act in accordance with tikanga (rituals) of the marae for the entire Science Wānanga.

Marae kawa specific to each Science Wānanga will be provided by the University of Otago, with the application forms for students.