Term Two Puuhoro Waananga

June 28, 2024

This term’s Waananga was held at the University of Waikato’s Management Building. Akonga were grouped into year levels with students from different schools, to make new connections as they learnt about different aspects of STEMM in industry.

Year 13 students hand a hands-on session coding and putting together a robotic hand to grab onto things. The Engineering team from the University explained that this type of technology is currently helping farmers with fruit picking, especially when there are labour shortages. The Year 13 akonga also heard from the Poutama Trust, a charitable trust that provides support to Maori businesses to develop their brand and their products. Poutama have, and continue to support, Maori ventures in fashion and jewellery design, making wines, honey, and even the dairy industry. One of the three sessions for the Y13 akonga involved working with students from other schools to do a bit of research on the possible avenues they can pursue once completing high school, including trades, joining the work force, joining the armed forces, and tertiary education.

Year 12 akonga also had three varied sessions, including a hands-on activity to code and wire up a prototype vehicle for sowing seeds. This type of technology can be used in the agricultural sector to increase productivity and efficiency. Another session was held by Medtech (a medical software company) who have designed a practice management system that is used by medical experts like doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors and sports teams to manage their members’ health records. The third session was about Toi Whakairo (Carvings), where akonga heard one of the origin stories of carvings, as well as five different aspects of whakairo, including haehae, raperape, puungaawerewere, taratara-aa-kae, and unaunahi. Akonga then had an opportunity to practise drawing one of these designs. The speaker for this session was a creative advisor for Puuhoro, and is involved in designing the merchandise for Puuhoro.  

Year 11 akonga had a session where they learnt about, and the the words for, the Waiata for Puuhoro, which is very catchy, and when the akonga all sing it together, it is harmonious. There was a session led by Puutahi Manawa, Centre of Research Excellence, hosted by the University of Auckland. This session had several different stations set up for students to learn about different aspects of the heart. Akonga found out about the parts of the heart and how the heart functions. They learnt about ECG’s and what a normal ECG (Electrocardiogram) looks like and what the three peaks in an ECG represent. A few students also had an opportunity to get an ECG and see their charts. Students learnt about blood pressure and used blood pressure monitors to measure their blood pressure. Akonga looked at healthy and unhealthy heart tissue under the microscope. The third session for Y11 students was a hands-on activity where they had to build a catapult. A basic design was shown to the akonga, and they had to use the available resources to build a catapult to throw a small object the furthest distance. This activity required teamwork, and for students to build their catapult, and continuously improve it until it was time to compete.

All akonga who attended, enjoyed the range of activities, and made our school proud with their enthusiasm to learn new skills and knowledge and with their cooperation with others.