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Partnering with communities - Science Wānanga

students explore the wildlife in tidal pools in Otago Harbour

Science Wānanga developed as an expression of the relationship between University of Otago and one of its iwi partners Ngati Porou, with a particular focus on the community at Uawa (Tolaga Bay).

Science topics are chosen by community and schools and the topics are usually interlinked. They will involve field study and maybe some lab work, loads of practical learning and thought provoking stuff to get predominantly Year 9 and 10 students to see science in a new light.

The university takes scientists young and old - researchers and postgraduate students -where possible we take scientists who are Māori so that the students attending can see the possibilities for their own tertiary study more clearly. 

Everyone stays on marae together and in the evenings kaumatua come and share their matauranga/science too - this creates learning opportunities for our scientists as well as for the students who can make the connections between what they've been doing during the day and what they are hearing in the evening. 

Wānanga run from the top or the North Island to the bottom of the South, following the links of iwi partnership held by the university - Ngāti Whātua in the Kaipara, down to Ngāi Tahu in Ōraka-Aparima.

The photo was taken at a science wānanga run with Ngāi Tahu at Otakou marae. Students are surveying life in the tidal waters of Otago Harbour.

For more details of our Science Wānanga programme and how it builds on partnerships and develops new ones, check the website here

Science Wānanga website