Forests of Life (FOL) pilot school Mokoia Intermediate is set to be joined on the project by their Aussie mates from Golden Square Secondary School in Bendigo, Victoria.
The Australian school contacted DigiOps project partner, Ensis, and expressed interest in FOL, which aims to nurture and develop students’ interest in science through hands-on environmental-based projects. Ensis scientist and FOL project leader, Tim Barnard, has fielded calls about the project from afar as Canada and the USA but says adapting the programme for an Australian school was the obvious and most sensible choice.
“As Ensis is a joint venture with Australia’s CSIRO, it’s even more appropriate that we develop links with schools and students across the Tasman,” says Tim.
Golden Square School science teacher Kerrienne Hocking, says the school is looking forward to its involvement in the project and hopes it will encourage more students to take up science.
“We hope the hands-on philosophy of the Forests of Life programme will break down some of those barriers for students and inspire them,” says Kerrienne.
Also joining the project is Reporoa College. The school’s head of social sciences, Kathleen Gordon says the FOL project is an innovative way to get the students interested in science.
“We are looking forward to introducing our students to this science initiative and taking advantage of something that got started in our very own Rotorua backyard,” says Kathleen.
Tim and the Ensis team will work with both schools to get the project underway. An inquiry-based research programme that focuses on forest ecology and sustainability will be developed, and the web will enable students able to share their ideas and experiences.
*Thanks to Ensis for the additional reporting.