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Secondary teachers from around the South Island swapped their marker pens for a “magic memories” adventure tour around the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park recently to assess the area’s potential for school educational visits.
Six year 12 and 13 Biology, Geography and Tourism teachers were hosted courtesy of the Hermitage Hotel and Aoraki Area’s Department of Conservation for a two day fact finding and familiarisation trip. This included a Glacier Explorers Tasman Lake boat trip, Tasman Valley 4WD and Argo Tour and visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, along with talks and walks with Department of Conservation Rangers, and a visit to Glentanner Park.
Aoraki Mt Cook Alpine Village General Manager Tourism Denis Callesen said he believed the area provided a huge range of educational opportunities and he was delighted to share this with the teachers.
“This was designed as an opportunity for them to assess the region’s potential for school education, and in the meantime they had a tremendous getaway from the classroom.”
Programmes offered for Year 12 and 13 students could include field trips around the National Park to study the unique geological and biological environment.
The familiarization trip was arranged by the Department of Conservation LEOTC Educator Coral Butler, as part of Learning Experience Outside the Classroom (LEOTC*), a Ministry of Education initiative.
“It was great that we could work with the Hermitage Hotel to offer this informative weekend for teachers, so they can better see what we have to offer at Aoraki in terms of educational opportunities” said Coral.
The teachers loved their time in the National Park describing the range of events and places to see as “truly an eye opener”.
*Learning Experience Outside the Classroom is a Ministry of Education curriculum support project. It contributes towards curriculum-linked programmes for school students run by a range of organisations, such as zoos, museums, historic parks, art galleries, performing arts centres, and science centres.