Marine Education Initiative

Photo credit: Sophie Journee – EMR

“Action Learning” with MEI

The Marine Education Initiative (MEI) is about inspiring Waiheke students to take action for the protection and conservation of Tikapa Moana. The Waiheke Resources Trust and Sustainable Schools, with support from the Waiheke Local Board have been delivering this experiential learning and citizen science programme since 2019. 

The programme hosts around 200 students each year from Waiheke Primary, Te Huruhi Primary, Steiner School and Waiheke High Schools. 

What We Do

MEI is a year-long program that follow the Sustainable Schools “Action learning” cycle. The course occurs as exciting modules throughout the school terms.

Term 1: Experiencing your Marine Environment

In this term students take a deep dive into their local marine space through the help of Waiheke Dive and Snorkel as well as local marine experts. They get to snorkel beyond Enclosure Bay and check out what is living under the water, on the shore and in the bush at the McKenzie Reserve.

This experiential day is all about loving our marine and coastal environment and learning more about the biodiversity that calls these places home!

Term 2: Exploring the Issues

In term two we aim to increase students awareness of marine-related issues. Students participate in a second experiential day at a local beach. Experts working to protect and enhance our marine environment share their knowledge with the students that the Tikapa Moana, the Hauraki Gulf and beyond are facing.

Term 3: Taking Action

In term three teachers and students work together to plan and execute projects, initiatives and goals that will enhance our local marine biodiversity, tackle issues around waste in our oceans, protect our rare species and so much more!

Term 4: Celebration

The final term is all about celebrating their collective achievements and how precious our marine environment is to us as a community. There is a community celebration event  where the students can showcase their involvement in the project, actions they have taken and have fun!

school wall montage

Key concepts:

  • Experiential learning to connect with the marine environment
  • Student-led inquiry & citizen science to understand local issues
  • Student-led action to protect or enhance the local marine environment
  • Mountains to sea catchment approach
  • Connecting schools, connecting to community