Kea class here at BestStart Rangiora has been eco warriors of late, curious to learn and explore all about Papatuanuku; her abilities and ways in which we can help nourish and support her the way she does us. We set up and eco experiment which consisted of filling a glass container with soil, sand, stones and foliage. We added paper, cardboard, a pumpkin, plastic, glass and a cork, discussing what we thought would happen. We weren't sure but excited to observe the process of what could and couldn't be broken down, Millie knew that plastic was likely not to change stating "plastic is bad for the animals and earth!" ae Millie you are so right.
Every week with our magnifying glasses we observed and recorded the changes that were occurring, it was fascinating. By only day three we were already noticing changes! At our hui katoa tamariki noticed that there was mold growing on our pumpkin, and condensation on the glass, through further research we discovered both these processes help Papatuanuku in the composting process. By week 2 there was an eco system clearly evident, small plants were growing, the pumpkin was starting to really change and rot and the paper was absorbing more water. How cool!
Every week the discussions and observations are recorded and correlated into posters for our wall with photo evidence and the voices of the tamariki. Some great observations and comments were made, for example on week 4 Riley stated "It smells! like my baby brother's nappy" Ayla on week 8 had a great observation with incredible discriptive language being used stating "The pumpkin is soft, oozy and bumpy! Looks brown like chocolate! it's kinda' cool".
This eco experiment lead to other interests and investigations into our eco system, bugs and the ultimate bug-composter the worm. We learnt all about them and even designed and created our own worms from recycled materials. After researching the worms we got in touch with our local council. They came with a container of worms and helped us set up a worm farm next to our kai garden.
The ngeru are like Papatuanuku and can only break down naturally occurring objects such as kai scraps, paper and even human hair... ew. The tamariki have great pride in their tiger worms and all share the responsibility of caring for them. You can often here them discussing them and sharing worm facts to whoever will listen. Through a long term experiment we see continued engagement and excitment for observations, pride in their voice and finding recorded and displayed and other interests and ideas forming from a base idea.
All strands of Te Whariki can be seen in this learning process and learning is extended beyond a day or week, giving tamariki the time to engage and discover the power of this science experience. Ka pai Kea tamariki, me poho kereru koutou (You should be proud of yourselves!).