Friday, April 25, 2014


V is for volcanoes in the A to Z challenge...

Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand, a city built on a dormant volcanic field. As a result, we have 53 volcanoes in Auckland. There is also Rotorua, one of my favourite New Zealand cities where you can visit geothermal tourist attractions, or just watch the steam rise and the mud bubble in a local public park. This is of course a wonder land for a girl who used to collect rocks. My mum tells me that we used to have arguments when she unpacked my far too heavy school bags because I wouldn't let her throw my rock collections out. Apparently I insisted that each one had a special colour, a special shape or something else special.

Public park, Rotorua New Zealand

This term, I will be working with Sally and Pete on a module called The MASTER behind the chef. We will be exploring our geological past, present and future through food and maths. Since every year, I identify my insufficient knowledge of Māori language and culture as a professional development need, I am really looking forward to working with two educators who are role models in this field.

Even more so, I am excited to explore the great impact that these beautiful but vicious features of our landscape have had on New Zealanders. As a tourist in New Zealand, you can have corn cooked in a geothermal pit as Māori did in their past. A friend of mine has a tiny garden at the foot of Mount Albert, another Auckland volcano. She rarely buys vegetables because her soil is so fertile due to the volcano on her doorstep. Just as Māori found value in the geology of the landscape, so too can we find value in it now. There are parts of our knowledge about volcanoes that have evolved, but there are also parts that stayed the same. The New Zealand Curriculum requires that all students should learn about how scientific knowledge changes over time, and so, I am looking forward to a great term exploring the ties with which geology connects New Zealand past, present and future.

Rotorua, New Zealand
Rangitoto Island, Auckland, New Zealand

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