At Saint Kentigern, our students are fortunate to be offered many opportunities to extend their studies beyond the classroom, often spending time with experts who help bring their learning into context.
This term, our Boys’ School Year 5 students had a chance to bring their classroom learning of landforms of the Auckland region into focus with a visit to Mangere Mountain and Ambury Regional Park as part of their Social Science syllabus.
Mangere Mountain which is estimated to be 70,000 years old is one of the peaks that makes up the Auckland Volcanic Field. It is one of the largest and best-preserved scoria cones in the area with a wide crater and a lava dome near its centre, a distinct feature shared by no other volcano in Auckland. Its rich past offered plenty of learning opportunities for our boys.
The boys met the Park Ranger who guided their learning, explaining the geological features of tectonic plates and their impact on volcanic activity. The boys had the chance to examine the types of rocks produced through volcanic eruption and conducted two experiments investigating the flow of magma on a volcano. The two experiments investigated how lava fountains and lava flows shape a volcanic landscape and its surroundings. The boys also had the opportunity to explore the rim of the volcano and see first-hand how Māori used the mountain as a fortification and home.
After lunch, the boys moved on to Ambury Regional Park where they learnt more about volcanos before donning hard hats and heading out to the lava field. The boys descended one by one to discover the large 28,000 year old lava cave. From within the cave, they were able to see what happened when a lava flow solidifies as it makes its way across a landscape. They worked their way downwards as the passage narrowed, wriggling their way through a constricted space and finally emerging into daylight completing their volcanic expedition.
The trip to two interconnected geological sites was a most valuable experience for the boys. Our sincere thanks to the parents who accompanied us on the trip.