In 2015, ecologists Chris Stowe and Claire Newell found a strange fern during a vegetation survey in Whirinaki Forest, in the eastern North Island. They sent a frond to Te Papa’s fern experts Leon Perrie and Patrick Brownsey, who were also puzzled. This fern was clearly a Dicksonia tree fern but didn’t match any known species. Was it a new species?
How do you make topics like climate change and water pollution accessible and fun? Is it ok for Te Papa to take a playful approach to such serious territory? Experience Developers Jen Craddock and Ralph Upton explain how the team took on this challenge, using mischief-maker Māui as their guide.
Museums can sometimes feel like alien spaces for young learners, a place where words like ‘play’ and ‘explore’ might not always be an immediate association. But for educator Martin Langdon, these are the key drivers he keeps in mind when designing learning programmes aimed at learners under 5-years-old.
Summer research scholar Katrin O’Donnell explains why we need people to care about the weird and wonderful invertebrate animals which make up the majority of the planet’s biomass, and her investigations into how invertebrate scientists around the world can engage with non-scientists and vice-versa.