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AF8 and East Coast LAB serve up new What’s On Our Plates? plate boundary learning tools

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Aotearoa New Zealand straddles the boundary of two tectonic plates, the new What’s On Our Plates? learning modules dive even deeper into these awesome forces that have shaped our landscape and how we live.

With the kind support of Toka Tū Ake EQC, the AF8 [Alpine Fault magnitude 8] Programme and East Coast LAB | Hikurangi M9, have created a set of engaging, multimedia learning modules that will foster students’ enthusiasm for geoscience, while building their resilience to plate boundary hazards.

The three new learning modules complete a full set of eight, free learning resources, designed to support students at NZ Curriculum levels 4-6, to improve their knowledge of Aotearoa’s plate boundary and its hazards. The modules are accompanied by quizzes, worksheets, and a teacher's guide.

“While earthquakes, their associated hazards and their potential impacts can be scary to think about, if it wasn’t for the plate boundary we live on and the earthquakes it generates, our beautiful landscape would look very different or perhaps not even exist,” explains Alice Lake-Hammond, AF8 Programme Manager. “We've created these modules to help improve student’s understanding of how our landscape moves so we can be better prepared to move with it.”

The first new module explores how both mātauranga Māori and western science use observation and experimentation to learn more about the world around us, and how intertwining the two strengthens our understanding.

The other two new modules go beyond tectonic plates and earthquake shaking, investigating cascading hazards and tsunamis.

“While the Hikurangi Subduction Zone could create a massive earthquake, the subsequent tsunami is really our greatest hazard here on the east coast of Te Ika-a-Māui,” says Georgia McCombe, Project Leader of East Coast LAB | Hikurangi M9. “The new learning modules are excellent for helping students understand the bigger picture of plate boundary hazards.”

“Supporting education about natural hazard risk is a vital part of our work at Toka Tū Ake EQC,” says the organisation’s Public Education Manager Hamish Armstrong. “We’ve already seen great engagement with the first five What’s On Our Plates? modules and we’re sure that the full set will prove to be a really valuable resource for rangatahi, teachers and curious adults for years to come.”

All the modules are self-directed, and can be used stand-alone, or as a complete set, and each takes about 30 to 45 minutes to complete. The modules are browser-based and can be used on a Chromebook, laptop or PC, and can be found on both the East Coast LAB | Hikurangi M9 and AF8 websites.

1 August 2023

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