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Exciting new tech at Te Papa for innovative learning

15 Mar 2017

Te Papa has launched a new learning lab following the transformation of its learning programmes and space, in a bid to provide new ways of learning with technology.

The lab, Hīnātore, offers learning programmes available for learners of all ages and are delivered through interactive public workshops, drop in sessions and school prorgammes.

Head of Learning Innovation Miri Young is excited to welcome visitors to Te Papa’s state of the art learning lab.

“Hīnātore offers rich learning experiences to a wide range of visitors in an incredibly inspiring space. The range of technologies in the lab allows us all to learn in completely new ways,” Young says.

Hīnātore is equipped with a VR (Virtual Reality) studio, 3D printers, 3D scanners, touch tables, and telepresence technologies that enable learners to connect in real time with learners around the globe.

Young says Te Papa’s collections, exhibitions and taonga are at the heart of Hīnātore’s learning programmes, allowing learners to experience anything from voyaging the Pacific in vaka, to creating digital art in an immersive world.

“The focus is on learning and engaging with Te Papa’s taonga and collections, through this new and exciting technology,” Young says.

“It connects learners with one another, and with New Zealand’s scientific, arts and cultural collections and taonga.

“We’re building maker mindsets in learners of all ages, developing core competencies in collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. It’s dynamic, hands-on Hīnātore (STEAM)-based learning,” she explains.

Hīnātore will host school visits and workshops and learning programmes for visitors of all ages, such as Te Papa Talks: Virtual Realities this weekend (17-20 March) and a new school holiday programme in April.

During a recent school programme, students from Newlands Intermediate School gave students at Wooranna Park Primary School in Melbourne a virtual tour of Te Papa using Google Hangout.

“New Zealanders learning about, creating with, and sharing our nation’s collections through new and emerging technology is what Hīnātore is all about. It was a great learning opportunity for students from both schools,” says Young.

School groups unable to physically visit the national museum are able to participate on a Virtual Excursion using telepresence technology to explore Te Papa’s exhibitions remotely with an educator in a unique and exciting way, Young adds.

“We’re excited to enable access to remote students to virtually visit Te Papa as part of their classroom learning.”

According to Te Papa, Hīnātore, which is Māori for phosphorescence or luminescence, refers to a twinkling or glimmering in the dark. It symbolises the awakenings of understanding; the shimmering first lights of inspiration that mark the beginning of a learning journey.

Te Papa has made an initial investment of $495,000 in Hīnātore. Supporting partners of the learning lab are Victoria University of Wellington, Staples Advantage, Pelorus Trust and The Lions Foundation.

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