Learning

Museums Wellington provides unforgettable learning experiences for students of all ages at Space Place, Wellington Museum, Cable Car Museum, and Nairn Street Cottage.

Our learning programmes are delivered by dynamic and passionate educators who draw on the significant resources each site has to offer. Our authentic, hands-on, interactive learning experiences extend and enhance classroom learning and present a proudly Wellington or Aotearoa/New Zealand perspective.

Space Place

Learning programmes at Space Place take students on an exciting journey that includes a state-of-the-art planetarium show, exploration time in multi-media galleries, and an interactive workshop. Space Place provides a unique opportunity to explore the science, culture, and heritage of astronomy from a proudly Aotearoa/New Zealand perspective.

LEARNING PROGRAMMES

The World Around Us (Curriculum Levels 1 - 2)

For Level 1 students, this workshop explores the Earth, Sun and Moon system including day and night, the rotation of the Earth and the changing phases of the Moon. Learners are involved in group work and interactive demonstrations. At Level 2, the workshop builds on the topics from Level 1, and includes studying and modelling the seasons, exploring how the Earth orbits the Sun and an explanation for birthdays! Tilt and Tycho to the Moon are good planetarium show to match this workshop. (30 minutes, plus a 10 minute morning tea if required).

Seasons, Shadows and Cycles (Curriculum Levels 2 - 4)

Level 2 students will investigate how shadows change as we go through the day and year and how this relates to seasons and timekeeping. At Levels 3 and 4, the workshop provides a more in depth look at what causes seasons here on Earth and how they affect our day-to-day lives. Weather permitting, this will include use of the sundial. The planetarium show Tilt works well with this programme. (30-40 minutes depending on Level)

Exploring the Solar System (Curriculum Levels 2 - 5+)

For Level 2 students, Exploring the Solar System offers a quick recap of the Earth, Moon and Sun before setting off to explore the planets of the Solar System. From innermost Mercury to windy Neptune and dwarf planet Pluto, we model the size, structure and scale of our Solar System. Level 3 students will examine in further detail the components of the Solar System and the relationship between them. At Levels 4 and 5, the workshop offers a more in depth focus on the Solar System. The Planetarium shows Dynamic Earth and We Are Astronomers work well with this programme. (30-40 minutes, depending on Level)

Solar System and Beyond (Curriculum Levels 2 - 5+)

A brand new gallery workshop. Start at the Sun and fly through our Solar System. Learn that not all moons are the same, which planets could have life on them and the differences between meteors, meteorites and meteoroids. Fly past Neptune and head out of our Milky Way galaxy to find what galaxies are and see the Hubble Deep Sky Field. This is an interactive tour, with video snippets and gallery challenges. Perfect for an introduction to Space and for students on School Camps to Wellington. (40 minutes)

Telescope Tour (Curriculum Levels 3 - 5+)

Take a tour of the telescopes at Carter with one of our astronomers; learn about how different types of telescopes work; and how they have advanced our understanding of astronomy. Working in teams, students will then construct their own working telescope. Please note—we accept a maximum of 25 students for this session. (40 minutes).

Astronomical Cycles and Timescales (Curriculum Levels 3 - 5+)

This workshop investigates astronomical timekeeping and calendars across the world, and in many different cultures. We look at Te Maramataka and other lunar and solar calendars and study how their use varies depending on location, explore how particular stars are used to mark seasons and times, and learn about some of the cultural stories hidden in the stars. (40 minutes).

Hunting for Asteroids (Curriculum Levels 4 - 5+)

Students use bespoke astronomical software and real telescope data to hunt for asteroids in the Solar System. They learn about how the scientific process works and how to get the most accurate results from their data. Please note—we accept a maximum of 25 students for this session. (40 minutes).

Extremophiles (Curriculum Levels 4 - 5+)

Explore and understand the weird and wonderful world of the extremophile. Find out what they are, where they could live and why they are so important. Look closer at Mars, Europa and even on our own planet. This programme links really well with We Are Aliens! (40 minutes)

TEACHER RESOURCES

Wellington Museum, Nairn Street Cottage and Cable Car Museum

Learning programmes at Wellington Museum, Nairn St. Cottage, and Cable Car Museum encourage students to think critically and creatively about Te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Māui: its stories, heritage, environment, and future. Everyone who participates in a learning programme leaves with a stronger sense of connection to stories of this place.

We offer learning experiences for school students of all ages and our programmes support a range of curriculum areas, including social studies, English, science, technology, mathematics, and drama. Passionate educators use a range of approaches to bring learning to life, including interactive storytelling, drama, and visual thinking strategies.

LEARNING PROGRAMMES

Primary Learning Programmes

Primary school programmes are immersive encounters that emphasis student participation, action, and creative response. Examples include: collaborative bookmaking, puppetry, role play, and problem-solving activities.

Before planning your visit, talk to one of our educators about which site is most appropriate for your focus. For example, a visit to Nairn Street Cottage provides an excellent setting for themes such as life 100 years ago, sustainability, and technological changes over time. If you have a technology focus you may like to combine a visit to Wellington Museum with a visit to the Cable Car Museum;

We’re always happy to try something new, so if you have a particular focus and want us to cook up a programme, don’t hesitate to be in touch!

Explore: Museum artefacts are used as an entry point for exploring Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington Harbour), the people who have settled here, events that have shaped the city and its inhabitants, and Wellington’s position as capital city of Aotearoa. Examples include:

  • Māori myths and legends
  • Migration and settlement
  • Navigation
  • Transportation
  • The Wahine disaster
  • Streams and stormwater
  • Creative writing.

Extend: Extend your visit beyond the walls of the museum to explore sites of significance along the waterfront, for example, to Kumutoto Stream, Te Aro Pā, or to Matiu/Somes Island.

Connect: Visiting more than one site in Wellington provides opportunities for students to develop a more rounded understanding of stories of local and national significance. To this end, we collaborate with a number of outstanding local institutions. For example, students can explore navigation in collaboration with Space Place; participate in a creative making-activity at City Gallery; or enhance their museum visit using digital wizardry at Capital E! If you are planning a visit to more than one site, let us know and we will be happy to explore possible points of connection.

Secondary Learning Programmes

Secondary school programmes are immersive encounters that emphasise creative and critical thinking skills. Our programmes support The New Zealand Curriculum and can be tailor-made to suit the particular learning focus of your students.

Before planning your visit, talk to one of our educators about which site is most appropriate for your focus. For example, Nairn Street Cottage provides an excellent setting for exploring stories of early European settlers or the impact of the First World War on people in Wellington; the Cable Car Museum is a great place for students with a tourism, mathematics, or technology focus.

We’re always happy to try something new, so if you have a particular focus and want us to cook up a programme, don’t hesitate to be in touch!

Explore: Museum artefacts and replica maps are used as an entry point for exploring Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington Harbour), the people who have settled here, events that have shaped the city and its inhabitants, and Wellington’s position as capital city of Aotearoa. Examples include:

  • Māori myths and legends
  • The Wakefield scheme and the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Wellington as capital city
  • The 1913 Waterfront strikes and other protests
  • The Wahine disaster
  • Prejudice and patriotism in early 20th century Wellington
  • Sustainable urban design.

Geography Level 2

Our Level 2 Geography programmes explore the settlement of Te Whanganui-a-Tara and Wellington city and key stages in the development of the city, including significant changes to its natural and cultural environment. The programmes reference key concepts and can be easily adapted to explore specific urban patterns, including transportation, gentrification, and living spaces. If you have a bus, museum educators can accompany you out in the field.

History Levels 1-3

Students use key 19th and 20th century events as a starting point for exploring how underlying forces and movements shape events. With the support of museum educators, they move from a focus on a specific event to a broader consideration of the dynamic context in which is occurred.

Extend: Extend your visit beyond the walls of the museum to explore sites of significance along the waterfront, for example, to Kumutoto Stream, Te Aro Pā, or to Matiu/Somes Island.

Connect: Visiting more than one site in Wellington provides opportunities for students to develop a more rounded understanding of stories of local and national significance. It can also help them to question accepted interpretations of the past and to consider contesting theories. To this end, we collaborate with a number of outstanding local institutions. For example, students can explore Wellington’s position as capital city in collaboration with Parliament; participate in a creative making-activity at City Gallery; or compare and contrast perspectives on the First World War. If you are planning a visit to more than one site, let us know and we will be happy to explore possible points of connection.

Capital City Connections

Capital City Connections
Capital City Connections explores the capital city of Aotearoa New Zealand. Through arts, culture, heritage, science, stories and technology, students develop a sense of Wellington and their relationship to it.
Starting at Space Place students travel by Cable Car to the CBD and City Gallery Wellington. After lunch, students visit Museum of Wellington City & Sea  before using the latest technology at Capital E to create a digital response to their experiences.

Programme Details:
Space Place – Students explore the vastness of the universe, and their place in it, in a hands-on learning environment. Exploration begins in the Pelorus Trust Planetarium where students discover significant constellations and stories within the Southern skies, before heading in to the gallery to complete their mission!

City Gallery Wellington – On their journey through the Capital City, students stop at City Gallery to create their own view of Wellington and find out more about creating artworks which describe a sense of their place. They explore collage and construction techniques and leave the Gallery with their own 3D miniature landscape using Wellington scenery and structures.

Museum of Wellington City & Sea – Students take a step back in time to explore the fabulous myths and legends of Te Whanganui-a-Tara / Wellington. This session involves two taniwha and a trickster, naming tales, and a blend of interactive story-telling and modern technology. Students leave with a strong sense of Wellington and their place in it.

Capital E  – At the end of a great day exploring the themes of place in Wellington, students design and create their own animated response to their experiences. At Capital E’s MediaLab, using fantastically user friendly 2D-Animation software, and very cool WACOM  tablets, students will be inspired to make their mark, and to show their place in this world – one dot at a time! Their digital creations will be uploaded to the Capital E website for sharing.

Programme details:

  • Available in Term 1 and 2
  • Suitable for students in Year 5 to Year 10 with a maximum of 30 students each day
  • Cost of $17 per student; eachers and parent helpers are free
  • The day starts at 9:10am at Carter Observatory and finishes at 2:30pm at Capital E

Students will:

  • Visit and experience four superb education venues
  • Explore the art, culture, and heritage of Te Whanganui-a-Tara / Wellington
  • Discuss how artists make images which describe a sense of place
  • Explore collage and construction techniques to assemble a 3D landscape
  • Develop a sense of the capital city of Aotearoa/New Zealand, and their place within it
  • Explore and respond creatively to their experiences

Observing sunspots offers us a great way to learn about the closest star to Earth, our Sun. This interactive project uses yearly sunspot data along with recent images from a space-based telescope to analyse annual sunspot activity and learn about how sunspots form, move, change and disappear.

Solar Cycles Online – Teacher

Solar Cycles – student

annual sunspot numbers

Solar Cycle Map grid

sunspots chart

Multiwavelength Sun Images

Daily Sun Image

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EDUCATION NEWS SIGNUP

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RISK ASSESSMENT MANAGEMENT PLANS

Please note that charges apply for all of our education programmes.  For details and to make a booking, please use the form below to start a conversation with one of our educators.

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