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September 11, 2017 | by  | in Ngāi Tauira |
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Te Rōpū Āwhina

The kōrero of our tīpuna are recounted in many hapori across the Pacific. The importance of retelling those stories is considered a craft which we attempt to practice in every facet of our being as Māori and Pasifika people who are descended from greatness.

For me, these kōrero are integral to the delivery of the science projects that Te Rōpū Āwhina (Āwhina) is taking to hapori across Aotearoa. Established in 1999, Āwhina is the on-campus whānau for students studying in the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Architecture and Design (SEAD).

The Awhina outreach programme aims to demystify science by privileging Māori and Pasifika knowledge and kōrero as the foundation of our science activities. Delivered to rangatahi across the motu, one such activity discussed the love story of Mount Taranaki whilst investigating its geological movement and the analysis of igneous rock. Another activity discussed the antibacterial effectiveness of rongoā rākau such as Manuka oil. This gives rangatahi the opportunity to experiment with a range of ingredients to create everyday items like Manuka lip-balm to take home to their whanau. A popular activity was the creation of a 3D printed Fale Samoa, the explanation of its architectural design and cultural importance of the many pou. Other activities included; exploring magnetic fields in hangi stones, examining the pollution of waterways, and the creative design of tapa cloth.

This programme would not have been possible without the incredible people we partnered with and their unwavering support. Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou.

 

— Nā Ani Eparaima, Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe

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