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Source: University of Canterbury

06 July 2021

More than 800 students from schools around Canterbury had a taste of university life last week, including experiencing the cold of the Antarctic chill and printing out food.

  • Children who attended a Campus Events Experience run by Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University had the opportunity to participate in a range of activities, including making a glider.

Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University, jointly run by Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC) and Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki | Lincoln University hosted a Campus Events Experience from 28 June to 1 July, with 400 children taking part on each campus.

The programme encourages children to engage in exciting and innovative learning activities and experiences outside of the classroom, and the event offered the pupils the opportunity to explore new ideas and concepts to develop their self-efficacy, confidence, and aspirations.

Children and young people join the Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University programme through their school or rūnanga and are issued a Passport to Learning. They fill the passport with hours of learning outside the school classroom.

At both campuses, university academics ran hands-on sessions and facilitators from Learning Destinations also came along to offer even more opportunities.

At UC Te Waka Pākākano | Office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori, Pacific and Equity teams also led a range of sessions for the students. The children had a taste of maths, crafts, chemistry, business, and engineering, with activities such as making a glider they could take home.

They also had an opportunity to visit the University’s cold room at its Gateway Antarctica centre.  Christchurch Libraries, the YMCA, the Christchurch Art Gallery, and Eco Educate, offered sessions as well.

At Lincoln, topics included 3D food printing, ecology, insects, spider webs and soil science. They had their flexibility and fitness tested in the Sports Lab, heard about life at university, as well as learning about sheep and farming.

Selwyn libraries, the YMCA, the Antarctic Centre, the Airforce Museum, Pohatu Penguins in Akaroa, and Blue Cradle also provided fun and educational activities.

“We want to foster a love of learning and hope the children leave with a new appreciation, not just for tertiary education but for the many pathways to learning that exist in the world,” says Juanita Hepi, Programme Manager Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University.

MIL OSI