Whananaki Footbridge
Photo by Phillip Capper

Virtual field trip for school children showcases Te Araroa

Hundreds of school students joined Te Araroa Trust, the Walking Access Commission and Federated Farmers on a virtual field trip around Bream Head and Whananaki last month.

The commission, Federated Farmers and Te Araroa Trust partnered with LEARNZ, a leading provider of educational services, to create the virtual field trip. The field trip teaches about outdoor issues but without the costs associated with having to leave the classroom.

LEARNZ gave expert advice to make sure the students who took part had great learning opportunities.

The Northland virtual field trip took place during 8-9 April. It included a Google Earth for Web tour with GIS mapping, 3D locations, images, daily diaries and video. The trip supported teachers and students to explore an area of New Zealand they might not normally get to see in person.

The students met subject experts such as Adam the conservation ranger at Bream Head Te Whara, and Greta, whose farm at Whananaki includes the 13-kilometre Onekainga Track, which is part of Te Araroa.

The virtual field trip focused on understanding and caring for our unique biodiversity, working together to care for our environment; and behaving responsibly in the outdoors and on private farmland.

59 schools incorporating 1708 students enrolled to take part in the virtual field trip. The trip, including links to most of the educational resources and videos, is available on the LEARNZ website, so more schools can choose to engage with it in the future as well.