Kids in Space!

Wednesday 1 November 2023, 6:25AM

By Napier City Council


School students taking part in Tūhura Tuarangi, Aotearoa in Space interactive experiences.
School students taking part in Tūhura Tuarangi, Aotearoa in Space interactive experiences. Credit: Napier City Council


Get ready to blast off on a space adventure! A hands-on space science showcase will land in Napier this November, bringing visitors of all ages an out-of-this-world experience.

Tūhura Otago Museum’s ‘Tūhura Tuarangi, Aotearoa in Space’ science showcase is coming to the National Aquarium of New Zealand from 6 November to 14 December.

Amy Stevens, Education Manager at the National Aquarium, says interactive experiences include launching rockets, building satellites, and creating - and igniting - rocket fuel.

“We are always looking at how to engage our visitors, young and old, to the wonders of life on our planet in really engaging ways, and now we are extending that into the universe so they can get a real understanding of some of the things that go on up there,” explains Amy. “Aotearoa New Zealand has an important role in space research and development. Building a knowledge of that builds pride. It’s inspiring to know that Kiwis are part of this exciting, innovative and intrepid work.”

The showcase explores Aotearoa New Zealand's deep connections to space - from early Polynesian navigators to the space technologies and research being developed here. There is a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite that visitors are encouraged to touch and hold as they learn about humankind’s shared whakapapa with the night sky. Visitors can also touch a piece of space junk that crash-landed on a New Zealand farm or get lost in a black hole simulation. There are lots of exciting things to discover and explore.

The showcase was developed by Tūhura Otago Museum, which has been selected as a finalist for an international science engagement award in Berlin. The showcase has visited over 20 cities across New Zealand.

Admission to the showcase at the National Aquarium is part of general admission for visitors. There are also education sessions for schools taking place while Tūhura Tuarangi, Aotearoa in Space is in Napier.