April 06, 2018
Not rocket science but it is
Te Whare Wananga o Awanuirangi wants students to discover the power of their imaginations.
As the Whakatane-based Maori tertiary institutions marks its first 25 years, it wants to build an imaginarium.
Chief executive Wiremu Doherty says the idea comes from the Windward Community College in Hawaii, where science and maths professor Joe Ciotti has taken the idea of a planetarium and enhanced it with a discovery centre where people can play with science-based props like scale models of the voyaging waka Hokule’a and the space shuttle.
He tells students the technology to navigate the Hokule’a is the same as that used to navigate the shuttle.
"So native Hawaiian students just go click with science. He then gets them into creating rockets. They design,they develop, they send them into orbit, they track the trajectory, they send a payload up, they retract the payload, they analyse all the data. All that starting from hooking students into science at an early age in the context of an imaginarium," Professor Doherty says.
Awanuirangi sees itself not just for cultural retrenchment and revitalisation but as an institution which adds great value for New Zealand as a whole.
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