Marine Education Initiative

Experiential learning and citizen science for Waiheke rangatahi and their schools

Background

We love our marine environment! So, we are actively increasing awareness about the need for the protection and conservation of our marine environments. Our aim is to inspire the next generations to carry-on this passion.

The Waiheke Resources Trust and Sustainable Schools, with support from the Waiheke Local Board are delivering an experiential learning and citizen science programme: Marine Education Initiative. This programme involves 260 students from Waiheke Primary, Te Huruhi Primary, Steiner School and Waiheke High Schools. We are working to develop student-led action to restore and protect the local marine environment.

What We Do

MEI is a year-long course that is currently operating in its second year. The course occurs as exciting modules throughout the school terms.

Term 1: Experiencing your Marine Environment

In this term students take a deep dive into their local marine space through the help of Waiheke Island dive and snorkel, and local marine experts. They get to snorkel beyond Enclosure Bay and check out what is living under the water, on the shore and in the bush at the neighbouring McKenzie Reserve.

This experiential day is all about loving our marine and coastal environment!

Term 2: Exploring the Issues

In term two we aim to increase students awareness of marine-related issues. Students participate in a second experiential day at a local beacch. Local experts working to protect and enhance our marine environment share their knowledge with the students  that the Hauraki Gulf and beyond are facing.

Term 3: Taking Action

In term three teachers and students work together to plan and execute projects, initiatives and goals that will enhance our local marine biodiversity, tackle issues around waste in our oceans, protect our rare species - such as the penguins, and so much more!

Term 4: Celebration

The final term is all about celebrating our collective achievements and how precious our marine environment is to us as a community. There is a community celebration event  where the students can showcase their involvement  in the project, actions they have taken and have fun!

 

 

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Key concepts:

  • Experiential learning to connect with the marine environment

 

  • Student-led inquiry & citizen science to understand local issues

 

  • Student-led action to protect or enhance the local marine environment

 

  • Mountains to sea catchment approach

 

  • Connecting schools, connecting to community