Ōrewa College have been allocated 120 hours of MoE PLD funding to work with Field Based STEM. Their plan is to build upon an initiative of two teachers, team teaching – an integrated project between Geography and Outdoor Education.
This project is for Year 10 students at the College.
Head of Outdoor Education, Joel Dickinson and Geography teacher Matt Harrison have been team teaching since the start of the year, with the paramount aim of getting students outside, learning about and experiencing their local environment.
Their students are already giving the class a big thumbs up following several opportunities to learn about and engage with the beach, estuary and other local spots with a series of fun and active events.
The PLD initiative allows the integrated project to be enhanced even further with the development of a range of field based activities as well as developing ideas for other similar projects.
Ripples tell a story
Symmetrical ripples in the estuary inform us that this is a point in the estuary where the overall average energy is matched in both directions at right angles to the ripples’ length.
Curved or lobed ripples
These are a result of mulitple flows – providing some net depositional points and some net erosional points. The ripples are modified and ‘point’ in the direction of the dominant flow. Matt demonstrates how students can easily investigate the concept of velocity in the outdoors. Velocity is greatest towards the centre of the channel and is slowed down by frictional/drag forces at the edges.
The section of the estuary prepared for investigation of rates of accumulation of sediment and recovery of ecosystems. Dr. Fabrice Stephenson (NIWA) and Dr. Rebecca Gladstone-Gallagher (University of Auckland) are running field studies.
Future Trace Fossils
Tracks such as these, left by Gastropods may one day become preserved as trace fossils.
An animal burrow preserved due to a coating of iron oxide. A solid candidate for fossilisation within future sedimentary rocks.
Sea Level Rise
Although sea level rise is a concern for all parts of NZ, it is an ever present issue for residents of Ōrewa. On occasion, following the coincidence of a King Tide and storms out at sea, the College car park has been known to be inudated by the sea.