LEARNZ virtual field trip


16-12-2018 11:00 am

For the third year in a row, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is sponsoring a LEARNZ virtual field trip.

LEARNZ is a programme of free virtual field trips that teachers can use to take students (9-12 yrs) to remote places all over New Zealand, Antarctica and beyond. The virtual field trip gives students access to online video and audio feeds, activities and much more.

MPI’s approach to these field trips is to show students that biosecurity isn’t just about the Border Patrol TV programme, it’s much more than that.

“This is the third year we’ve been working with LEARNZ on these courses,” says Dr Jaimie-Leigh Jonker, Science Adviser, MPI. “We focus on things that kids probably wouldn’t even think about as an important primary industry, like visiting a sheep dairy farm (sheep milk) as opposed to a cattle dairy farm and visiting the SpatNZ mussel hatchery showing them how mussels are grown.”

The students have also visited a laminated vaneer lumber factory to see how wood can be treated and made into a high-strength engineered wood product. Rather than just going to a forest and watching the trees get cut down and moved out on trucks.

“This year we’ll be focusing on apples,” says Jaimie. “We’ll track the apple from orchard to plate with ‘Our Primary Industries – unpacking the apple story’.

The fieldtrip will focus on innovative science and technology throughout the value chain, and include the science of breeding and selection, sustainable growing systems, biosecurity, harvesting and packing technologies, and consumer insights and sensory sciences. The fieldtrip will also include interviews with experts about their career pathways.