Wairarapa Earth School

The launch of Wairarapa’s first Earth School, Te Kura o Papatuanuku is underway, thanks to a government funded programme, Unlocking Curious Minds. Curious Minds aims to share the value of science and technology by working with communities, businesses and educators through new and existing initiatives.

Many rural schools have fields that are costly to maintain. These fields are  an untapped outdoor learning resource with immense potential to increase student engagement and create revenue for struggling rural schools.

Our project asks the question:

Can students turn an empty school paddock into a space where science and technology can be investigated?

Students from three Wairarapa schools (South End, Kuranui and Makoura) will rise to the challenge to research new technologies, and design a science learning hub and sustainable farming enterprise on South End School’s empty field. This project is a collaboration between the three schools, Project Wairarapa as part of Resilient Carterton, and the Wairarapa Montessori Charitable Trust.

Students will develop a blueprint for turning the field into a sustainable and financially viable science and  agricultural learning hub. The project promotes hands-on activities to fuel student curiosity and allow independent cross-curricular learning to take place  inside and outside the classroom.

The two challenges  students will investigate are:

  1. How to use the school field in a profit making sustainable farming enterprise

  1. How to design an eco-farm school/science lab building run on renewable energy

The project will be entirely student-led. Working in  mixed aged groups  (6-15yrs),  interested students from the three schools will decide what they want to grow and build by asking advice from local expert mentors.