Education round up

St Patricks plaster of Paris foot prints July 2017 1 rLucy Waller, Education Ranger, has been working with local schools as they make the most of the Trust’s educational resource. 

81 year 3/4 Grey Main School pupils spent two hours recently with Lucy learning heaps about the korora and a few other penguins.  Following a quiz, a slide show and some videos, the children wrote reports, created a word bank and drew and labelled their own penguins. This followed a morning on Hokitika beach earlier in the year learning about the korora, its threats and how humans can do their part to help their survival.

Grey Main School penguin report
Grey Main School penguin report

Taking their mission as “Guardians of the penguin” to another level, Grey Main Primary School pupils have used korora for term 2’s report writing and wow did they do a fantastic job! The top two reports have received a prize!  The next step for these “guardians” is to help design a poster to get the word out into the community that sadly one of the biggest threats to penguins are dogs. We discovered that it is not always the dogs that we presume would be the penguin killers!  A little blue penguin looks just like a cuddly dog toy to play with for a friendly family dog!  The guardians at Grey Main School would like you to keep an eye on your dogs on the beach at this special time of year, when penguin chicks are in nests! A big thank you and well done to the brilliant pupils at Grey Main Primary School!

Cobden School - penguin drawing
Cobden School – penguin drawing

After installing nest boxes and doing a fantastic beach clean up a few months ago, Lucy joined Cobden Primary School students for a classroom session, drawing korora and labelling them, discussing threats and what we could do to help.  17 yr 3-6 children have been educating their friends and families, the local residents of Cobden, about the korora.  The challenge was set for each pupil to tell five people about the threats to the little blues and how to keep them safe!  They reached their goal of 100 people by the time we met again for some report writing!  Well done Cobden pupils and thank you!

Budding, new, young penguin rangers have been doing their part for our little blue penguin at St Patrick’s Primary School!  Year 0-3 pupils from St Patrick’s Primary School have chosen the korora as their classroom topic this year. Having used the Trust’s penguin educational resource as a guide, the pupils have become expert penguin rangers!  After hours of impressive independent work in the classroom, a classroom session with Lucy the penguin ranger, a field trip to Camerons beach took place. Tracks were spotted and plaster of Paris moulds were taken! 

St Patrick’s pupils are such enthusiastic penguin rangers and love our little penguin so much, that they have decided to take the next step in supporting their survival.  Time to build a class nest box as part of their technology unit of work!  They are taking this important task very seriously and made sure the box will be up to specifications, practicing with cardboard models and studying a real one with Lucy.  At the end of term 3, St Patrick’s Primary contributed to the colony at Camerons beach with their very own class nest box! Bravo St Patrick’s! Fantastic job!

St Patricks School chlidren and parents ready to install nest box at Camerons
St Patricks School children and parents ready to install nest box at Camerons

Finally for this education update, the West Coast Penguin Trust attended the West Coast Science Fair: Scientists in the making!

Rangers Jenny Chandler and Lucy Waller at the West Coast Science Fair
Rangers Jenny Chandler and Lucy Waller at the West Coast Science Fair

Secondary schools from all over the West Coast came together for the science fair. WCPT sponsored a prize and went to judge, educate and entertain the students, while they patiently waited for the judging process on their projects. Many a penguin crossword and puzzle were completed and discussed! It was interesting to hear the conversations from students from different parts of the West Coast, some describing the nuisance of the korora with the smell and noise under their houses and others marvelling at the fact they actually, truly exist, having never seen or heard any sign of one!