“The task set out for the kids was for them to find any material around their home, schools or streets that was available and affordable for them to use, to create their vaka or boat,” said ECE teacher Eteta Teinangaro.
Most students took to the task with enthusiasm and collected different types of natural and recycled materials and fibres to design their masterpieces, while others resorted to purchasing theirs from the shop.
“We were very grateful that the parents decided to take a more active role in helping the students out with their boat designs,” said Teinangaro.
“We had boats made from plastic bottles with plastic bag sails, boats made from coconut husk with the sail made from the coconut puru as well as our traditional design made from driftwood and cloth.
At the end of the project, the biggest test was to see if the student’s creations would float on the open sea.
“We took all the students down to Tautu Wharf where we put the boats in the water and watched them sail.”
With most of the boats keeping their head above water, it was only too sad to see some become treasures at the bottom of the sea.
“The kids loved learning about the vakas, how they move and how they are made, it was good to see them excited,” says Teinangaro.
A shared lunch was held at the wharf after the final sail with both students and parents, who were all very proud of their achievements.
A big meitaki atupaka to the parents of the students in ECE for their help and support.