Otago Museum’s Tuia 250 programme supports learning about astronomy and celestial navigation

Otago Museum’s two applications to the Lottery Tuia – Encounters 250 Programme have been successful, netting
$370 000 for community outreach programmes aimed at young people.

Dr Ian Griffin, Otago Museum Director, has developed a programme called Ka mua, ka muri, Te Mahutatanga o Takero, Looking Back & Looking Forward, Mercury Rising to mark Mercury’s transit across the sun in September. This rare event coincides with the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s observation of the very same phenomenon.

The programme, a partnership between cultural and scientific organisations across New Zealand, will culminate in a high profile, week-long, nationally coordinated programme of inspirational science activities, including a group of students visiting Mercury Bay to watch the transit with a group of astronomers.

Tupaia’s Map Unlocked

“Europeans abstract space, they objectivise it, externalise it and fix it. They then measure it with the invisible lines of latitude and longitude, measure where you are and then travel,” he said.

Polynesians imagined a world where “people didn’t move”, but the “world moved around them”, Eckstein said.

Reanimating Tūpuna Stories

As part of Tuia 250, ākona (students) in Marlborough and the East Coast are participating in gaming workshops to explore and share their local histories. The Games for Tuia project is led by NZCER working in collaboration with Gamefroot, and encourages tamariki to run with their imaginations in game design – telling stories like that of Kupe and Te Wheke o Muturangi.




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