April 05, 2016
Kura students get teeth into science
Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Nga Mokopuna pupils now have a finer appreciation of science – and of brushing their teeth properly – after a day at the University of Otago, Wellington.
The tauira took part in experiments including extracing DNA from plaque and using disclosing tablets to show up the concentration of bacteria on their teeth.
The lessons by Dr Sara Filoche were translated into te reo Maori by her collegue from the university Ruruhira Rameka.
Head of department Diane Kenwright says te reo Maori is usually thought of in terns of culture rather than science, but science can be communicated in any language.
She says one of the aims of the department is to grow the healthcare workers of the future.
"These students are going to be the doctors and nurses and radiation therapists of tomorrow and by showing them they can have science as part of the school curriculum and keep going with science, it means they can take their culture forward and when they become health practitioners they can really relate to the communities they are working with," Dr Kenwright says.
The university has an ongoing partnership between the kura, and students gain NZQA credits from the wananga.
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