Cutting edge technology for Te Papa’s new learning lab

Te Papa has transformed its learning programmes and space to create Hīnātore, a new learning lab.

Hīnātore’s learning programmes are designed for learners of all ages and are delivered through interactive public workshops, drop in sessions and school progammes.

Learning lab spokesman Miri Young says the lab is an inspiring space with a range of technologies that “allows us all to learn in completely new ways”.

Hīnātore is equipped with a virtual reality studio, studio, 3D printers, 3D scanners, touch tables, and telepresence technologies that enable learners to connect in real time with learners around the globe.

Te Papa’s collections, exhibitions and taonga are at the heart of Hīnātore’s learning programmes, allowing learners to experience anything from voyaging the Pacific in waka, to creating digital art in an immersive world.

“The focus is on learning and engaging with Te Papa’s taonga and collections, through this new and exciting technology,” says Ms Young. “It connects learners with one other, and with New Zealand’s scientific, arts and cultural collections and taonga.

“We’re building maker mindsets in learners of all ages, developing core competencies in collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. It’s dynamic, hands-on Hīnātore (STEAM)-based learning.”

 During a recent school programme, students from Newlands Intermediate School gave students at Wooranna Park Primary School in Melbourne a virtual tour of Te Papa using Google Hangout.

“New Zealanders learning about, creating with, and sharing our nation’s collections through new and emerging technology is what Hīnātore is all about. It was a great learning opportunity for students from both schools,” says Ms Young.

School groups unable to physically visit the national museum are able to participate on a virtual excursionExcursion using telepresence technology to explore Te Papa’s exhibitions remotely with an educator.

Māori for phosphorescence or luminescence, Hīnātore refers to a twinkling or glimmering in the dark. It symbolises the awakenings of understanding; the shimmering first lights of inspiration that mark the beginning of a learning journey.

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