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Students share moth project at global conference

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Students from the Ahi Pepe MothNet project are in Canada this week to share their work at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education.

Rangatahi from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ōtepoti, with project lead Dr Barbara Anderson (Landcare Research), are presenting to thousands of attendees at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE).

WIPCE runs every three years in a different location and is the largest event of its kind. This year it runs from Monday 24 to Friday 28 July in Toronto, Canada.

The students – Maia Rakete-Gray, Moka Elone, Jazmine Tau and Margarita Ritchie – will be presenting in Te Reo Māori with some English. They will share Māori and scientific knowledge about New Zealand’s native moths in their talk entitled Science through an indigenous lens – a moth study

Their talk is at 2pm EDT Thursday 27 July (6am NZT Friday 28 July).

Students at WIPCE

“We are absolutely thrilled to be here, and couldn’t have done it without the support of so many people who helped us pay for the trip,” Barbara says.

“We are pretty excited about presenting to so many people as it’s an unbelievable opportunity to be able to share our kaupapa with others from around the globe.”

In the run up to the event, the students made and sold moth-themed merchandise. They also enlisted help from artists from all over New Zealand who contributed pieces for an art auction at Otago Museum, which raised $16,000.

Tumuaki (school principal) Tiahuia Kawe-Small tells us, “What appeared unattainable to the students has become a reality. It’s been an incredible journey of self-discovery and leadership, and the conference is really a beginning to something bigger. 

“We’ve had tremendous support from so many people who believed in the students and backed them. And here we are in Toronto!”

Photo (from left): Maia Rakete-Gray, Moka Elone, Jazmine Tau, Margarita Ritchie at WIPCE. [Credit: Marcia Cassidy].

Watch a video (external link) of the students presenting at the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge conference earlier this year.

Find more information on the Landcare research website (external link)

Ahi Pepe Mothnet is funded through Unlocking Curious Minds, after being initially funded through the Participatory Science Platform in 2015. Read a story about the project.

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Unlocking Curious Minds

Unlocking Curious Minds supports projects that excite and engage New Zealanders who have fewer opportunities to experience and connect with science and technology.

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Participatory Science Platform

The Participatory Science Platform supports collaborative projects that bring together communities and scientists or technologists on research investigating a locally-important question or problem.

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