The Pukerua Bay School Museum is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s newest museums – the brainchild of three Primary school students: Isaac and Paddy (aged 11) and Aurelia (aged 9). Te Papa Learning Innovation has asked the three founders, with the support of their kaiako (teacher) Cat Lunjevich, to write a post for our Te Papa blog all about their museum:
The Pukerua Bay School Museum
Blog made by Isaac, Paddy and Aurelia and Cat Lunjevich
The idea started when we were walking across the field at school talking about jobs. This discussion led to us deciding to make a museum at Aurelia’s house.
The teachers saw the home museum and Mr Wooster decided to ask us if we wanted to do it at school in a old book room. We said yes and now the Pukerua Bay School Museum is in the old book room. It was dusty and mucky when we first went in but now it is a running museum.
We went to Te Papa and with the help of Cat Lunjevich (one of our teachers) and Rebecca Browne (Museum Education Specialist at Te Papa) they organised for us to see these people.
- Mark Stocker (Curator, Historical International Art)
- Anna Brookes (Collection Manager, Art)
- Justine Olsen (Curator, Decorative Arts and Design)
- Carolyn McGill (Collection Manager, Humanities)
- Alan Tennyson (Curator, Vertebrates)
We were inspired by the paintings, the works on paper, the furniture, the bones (natural history) and everything else we saw.
We also learned about the different jobs people have like, curators and collection managers and gave ourselves titles. Aurelia is our Natural History curator and collection manager/founder, Paddy is our Fine Arts curator/founder (his brother Joey is the collection manager) and Isaac is our History of PKB curator and collection manager/founder.
We decided what our first exhibitions would be.
- Pukerua Bay History is about the history of PKB- from the early days of PKB to the recent days of PKB.
- Fine Arts – NZ adults art and PKB school children’s art.
- Natural History is about crystals and animal remains.
Next we had a grand opening. This is what we did.
First we got together and had a giant meeting about employment*. Then we decided piece by piece on what we were going to do for the opening and eventually made a plan. First a speech, and then a song, and then another speech and a haka and another song. Paddy, Isaac and Aurelia’s family members came in, and even some VIPs AKA Te Papa educators and curators and a local councillor came in and had a look and then we had some food.
*There were lots of jobs to do, so Paddy, Aurelia, and Isaac hired other students for roles like functions coordinator, technology specialist, and heavy lifter. A group of children had the job of building a ramp out of pallets for the opening so that the museum would be more accessible for wheelchairs too.
Here are some photos.
Our next step is to open our coming exhibitions, one is interactive and it is called secrets of the art where you help us discover the history of some of our historical pieces, and the other one is a war exhibition which we are currently building but hasn’t been named yet. And we would like to say thank you to our staff who helped us along the way which is lots of people and thank you to people who loaned and donated and the Te Papa people and others for supporting us along the way.
Ka rawe! (Awesome)
Congratulations Pukerua Bay School on this wonderful initiative. We know your work will inspire people all around Aotearoa New Zealand and the world. We look forward to you sharing your mahi (work) again soon.