Our exhibits are housed in the caravan and under the awnings. In wet weather we also use school halls.
In addition to our stand-alone exhibits and activities, our internal walls are covered with extra fun and interesting stuff ranging from Maori legends about the healing powers of native plants, to waste exhibits and amazing images of the beauty of nature. Our exhibits are described briefly below.
Our Environmental Footprint
In this exhibit, the children answer questions about their lifestyles (e.g. how they get to school, what is in their lunch boxes) on a computer touch screen. The computer then provides a result expressed as number of earths of resources the children are currently consuming. The average environmental footprint for each New Zealander is three earths. The children receive a clear educational message that we are over-consuming and will need multiple planets to survive if all of earth's population consumed resources the way we do. This is clearly not sustainable as we only have one planet.
Geckos and Vines
The children work together to play a life-size game of “Geckos and Vines”, demonstrating how we can look after ourselves, our animal, and our plant resources. The game is played in the same way as the traditional 'snakes and ladders' except that when a child lands on either a gecko or vine square, one of the other players asks an environmental or a road safety question. If the child is on a vine and answers correctly, he/she is "cleared" to move up the vine. If the child is on the gecko and answers correctly, he/she is saved from slipping down.
My Driving Day
The children select a week of their lives and key in onto a computer their typical journeys (origin and destination points) and the way they travel (car, bus, train, ferry, bicycle or walking). Their journeys are then displayed on the screen as the computer calculates the carbon emissions from their weekly travel. These emissions are translated into the number of trees which would need to be planted to offset the emissions and the number of planets we would need if everyone planted that many trees.
The children experience nature up close with our wonderful Video Microscope, kindly donated by 3M. The microscope magnifies specimens thousands of times and is very easy for the children to use. The children either collect their own specimens from around the school yard, or look at the TLC specimens which include insects, bone material, plants and leaves, and also live worms and insects from a compost sample.
Children experience pedalling a real 'exercycle' to generate their own electricity. They are able to pedal the bike to power different appliances and feel the significant differences in the amount of energy required, for example, an energy efficient light bulb compared with a normal bulb. They also have fun powering other simple appliances and attempting to generate enough power to boil water in a kettle.
The E-waste exhibit teaches the students about the various resources involved in creating the technology that many of us use on a daily basis, and why it is important that we dispose of electronics through appropriate recycling schemes when it is no longer useful. Children will learn about some of the hazards involved in E-waste and some e-cycling basics.
Auckland Transport Travelwise TravelSafe Game
This game is a pinball style game which challenges students to make safe travel choices to reach their destination. Based on the old fashioned coin drop games from fish and chip shops, this exhibit is sure to cause a bit of competition!