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Workshops connect teachers to nature

Connecting teachers to nature workshop

Thanks to a collaboration between Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Cape to City and Enviroschools education facilitators, teachers wanting to take their students into the environment are making the most of workshops about using the environment as a teaching resource.

The first workshop was held on Thursday 11 April on the banks of the Tutaekuri River at Puketapu.  Sally Chandler from HBRC led this workshop says “Lots of factors contribute to the health of our waterways and it was great to be able to share tips, knowledge and equipment with a keen group of teachers from early childhood through to secondary”.

We undertook simple tests around water quality using our Stream Health Monitoring and Assessment kit (SHMAK).  This equipment is also available for schools to loan, she says.

The next was held at Kohupatiki Marae on Thursday 9 May and had a Matariki focus.

Sonya Sedgwick, Enviroschools facilitator, commented “It was great to see the participants very engaged in an action based environmental education context, which is a very different way for them to consider Matariki.”

Sonya added “A teacher who came to the workshops said she could organise her whole school year on what she had experienced. That's great news for connecting students to nature!”

Robyn McCool, Cape to City Education facilitator said “Participants found relevance and inspiration in the way the learning was presented, which was evident through their sharing of ideas and their enthusiasm throughout the group activities.”

The workshops are designed to be “tasters”. Only two hours in length and are run afterschool.

There are two more workshops to come. The next is on Thursday 12 September and will have a bush focus and be held at Dolbel Reserve, Taradale.  The final for 2019 is being held on Thursday 7 November and will be an opportunity to meet environmental experts from across the district who will share their knowledge and expertise.

3 September 2019

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