By Sandra Groves and Trudi Ngawhare, Gisborne Partnerships Rangers | Kaitiaki Manutataki
A 21st century educational programme with an East Coast flavour was at the fingertips of teachers and students right across the country in June.
The programme was available online through educational facilitator LEARNZ. Students were able to explore the first meeting of tangata whenua and explorer James Cook in 1769, He Hokinga Whakaaro, when history changed forever.
Thirteen Tairāwhiti schools registered for this free virtual field trip, along with a further 100 schools joining in online from around the country.
A full programme was organised over three days with some last minute logistical changes due to the atrocious wet weather, but that did not deter the virtual field trip from continuing as planned.
Makauri school children perform a waiata during the pōwhiri
Jamie Quirk, Services Ranger takes a look around the Cook Landing Site National Historic Reserve
The virtual journey began with a pōwhiri hosted by Makauri school and Rongowhakaata kaumātua representative Stan Pardoe, which was filmed and edited into a four-minute clip.
The children welcomed DOC staff and the LEARNZ facilitators Shelley Hersey and Andrew Penny on site.
Each day of the virtual field trip began with an audio-conference with students from around the country who had already submitted questions for the experts to answer.
Students heard from historians about the arrival of the waka and the first meeting of tangata whenua and Captain James Cook.
Local historian Joe Martin describes the voyages of Captain James Cook and life on the endeavour to LEARNZ Facilitator
Don McLean, Senior Services Ranger identifies plants in Banks Garden (the garden was named after Joseph Banks, Botanist on the Endeavour)
Richard Brooking from Ngāi Tāmanuhiri spoke about how Māori navigated across the pacific, while local historian Joe Martin talked about the voyages of Captain James Cook and life on the endeavour.
The virtual field trip was a great learning experience thanks to our many experts and the time and effort contributed by everyone involved.
The footage and recorded audio-conference with children will remain on the LEARNZ website, allowing schools who registered to participate in the virtual field trip whenever they want to.
Makauri school re-enact the meeting between James Cook and a Māori warrior