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.
Well done Isaac, Paddy & Aurelia
Do you know that Peter Jackson grew up in Pukerua Bay?
If you wrote to him and told him about your museum, he might tell you a story about “Growing up in Pukera Bay and going to school there”
Nice Blog! We have read a few of the interesting content on your website now, and we really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep it up the effective work
Kingston Primary School Admissions
You’re more than welcome 🙂 Thanks for the message!
Kia Ora Isaac, Paddy & Aurelia
Wow! What a awesome idea & looks like you have executed it professionally !!! When are you open for visitors?
Not sure. If you want to find out email email@example.com
Kia ora Isaac, Paddy and Aurelia, what a creative idea, and how well you have executed it. It is terrific that you have engaged your teacher and the people at Te Papa in supporting you – we look forward to coming and seeing the museum, and we will be telling our friends at Paremata School all about it as well. Best wishes, Marilyn, Graeme, Leo and Jethro
Hi i am so imprested about my self too but this just going to be a steping stone because we plan to open a museum as big as te papa i hoe you will like our next exobitions
at the PKB school museum 😉
I am pleased to hear you are proud of yourself – I am sure your whānau, friends and teachers are too 🙂
Nga mihi ki a koutou,
Well done to Paddy, Isaac, Aurelia and everyone involved in this inspiring enterprise. I hope it continues and we’d love to hear about its progress.
from Museums Aotearoa
Thanks Museums Aotearoa!
Wow – so impressed by Paddy, Isaac, Aurelia and Cat’s work – you guys are amazing! And awesome support from Te Papa staff too – such great professional practice! I will be spreading the word to schools in Auckland, who could learn heaps from this project! Christa, Schools’ Programme Coordinator, Auckland Art Gallery
Cheers Christa – we were very lucky to be involved 🙂
Ka nui ngā mihi ki a koutou. Well done all on completing such a interesting and innovative project.
As an ex-student it would be great to come and have a look at what you have achieved.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to have a look
This is so impressive and inspiring, great work Paddy, Isaac, Aurelia, Cat and Pukerua Bay School. I will be sharing this with my Year 3 & 4 class at Kapanui School.
What a superb initiative! I look forward to following its progress.
Love the museum idea. How great that the children could carry out their own interests and work with professionals in the field.
How exciting. I lived just down from Pukerua Bay School and did all my primary schooling there starting in 1958 – a long time ago!!!
What a great idea and you sound so organised with employing all the different helpers you needed to get your museum set up.
I just heard about it from my friend who is a Principal in Auckland.
I would love to come and visit your museum if you have an open day.
What a cool idea – love it. Well done everybody involved.
I love your museum! Really exciting design to your displays and lovely artwork! This is exactly how museums should be. Well done!
Professor of Museum Studies
University of Leicester, UK
Thanks for your comment Simon 🙂
Your museum looks AMAZING! I teach Year 5/6 kids and I am going to show them what you have done. I know it will inspire them and open up their minds to possibilities. What fantastic kids you are and what a great school Pukerua Bay must be.
Well done guys, I really enjoyed being at the museum’s grand opening and seeing its fine contents. I also admire the care that you put into the installation and organisation; it’s easy to say ‘let’s have a museum!’ but a lot harder in reality. We are very pleased that Te Papa was an inspiration on you. All the members of our Art Team will be fascinated to know what your next exhibition, ‘The Secret of Art’, will reveal, so keep up the good work!
The Secret of The Art exhibition will be the stories behind the art at the Pukerua Bay
I am so impressed with the hard work that Paddy, Isaac Aurelia have put in to their museum and the support they have had from the other pupils and teachers that helped their museum grow from a bedroom to their school. Hopefully one day you will be able to open a bigger museum with more object and art on display.
I work at a museum in a castle in Scotland. I started learning about museums and the different jobs at school too. But I never got to open my own!
How cool. Well done kids and well done teachers for supporting them and help their visions become reality.
I am very impressed by the thought that has gone into this project and also the fact that so many different people have been involved. Well done to all concerned.
What a wonderful Museum you have created. Your great collection looks to be in very caring hands. I cant wait to see news of your upcoming exhibitions too!
Congratulations! What a fantastic idea.
How lovely youngsters taking an interest in the world around them, and wanting a museum, they will do well. congratulations, lets hope other schools take note..
It would be wonderful to see more ECE centres and schools creating their own museums
Hello Isaac, Paddy and Aurelia (and Cat),
Thank you for sharing the story of starting up your museum. Are you open to visitors? I would like to see it some time.
Best wishes for your next exhibition.
Kind regards, Nancy Longnecker
Professor of Science Communication; University of Otago
I will see
Great to have you online answering questions Paddy 🙂
Congratulations to all involved – what a wonderful example of student led learning and a team working together to make amazing things happen. I am an educator in a cultural organisation in Australia ( a little like Te Papa) and this makes my heart sing!
We were very lucky to be included 🙂 Will pass on your comments to the team.
If anyone has any questions or comments for Issac, Paddy or Aurelia, I am sure they would be happy to respond.