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Te Ipukarea Society: TIS captivates students at Careers Expo with interactive activities

Saturday 22 June 2024 | Written by Te Ipukarea Society | Published in Environment, National

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Te Ipukarea Society: TIS captivates students at Careers Expo with interactive activities
Teariki Briante from Titikaveka College was thrilled to win a TIS water bottle. TIS/24062101

The 2024 Careers Expo took place last Thursday at the National Auditorium, featuring over 30 exhibitors. Government agencies, education institutions, private sector companies and non-government organisations, including Te Ipukarea Society (TIS), showcased what careers may look like in their respective fields.

The theme for 2024 was ‘Think Big’ inspiring students to dream with ambition. The morning began with a motivating keynote speech from Cook Islands Finance chief executive officer Tony Fe’ao and remarks from Secretary for Education Owen Lewis on the importance of making a positive difference for the Cook Islands. More than 500 students from schools including Tereora College, Titikaveka College, Apii Avarua, Nukutere College and Apii Enuamanu were then invited to browse the exhibits.

There was strong interest in Te Ipukarea Society’s stall with many students showing enthusiasm for the conservation and environmentalism space. It was encouraging to see the next generation of environmentalists showing such curiosity about the work Te Ipukarea Society does across the Cook Islands.

Te Ipukarea staff were on hand to provide information about TIS’s projects in 2024. These included assisting the National Environment Service, alongside Te Puna Vai Marama (Cook Islands Centre for Research), in developing an Environmental Management Plan for the southern passages of Rarotonga to protect the habitat and wildlife found in these passages; school programmes that spread environmental awareness from composting to native and endemic wildlife to the unique ecosystems we have and what we  can continue to do to preserve and protect our natural resources; and the ongoing turtle monitoring, where Te Ipukarea has been able to slowly grow the collection of photos to help identify and track the movements of individual turtles within our lagoons through the help of citizen science initiatives.

The students were invited to take part in an interactive turtle photo matching activity which had hundreds of participants throughout the day. Turtles have unique, fingerprint-like patterns on their face. The activity was to match up photos of both Green and Hawksbill turtles based on their patterns. The activity was a huge success with students, teachers and even other exhibitors. Students could write their name and contact details on to their turtle ID sheets and drop them in a box as entries into a draw to win one of three TIS thermo flask water bottles.

TIS staff also facilitated several quizzes throughout the day to earn an entry into the water bottle draw. The most popular was on endemic species found in the Cook Islands. The posed question: Can you name an endemic (native and restricted to a certain place) in the Cook Islands, evoked answers such as the Kākerōri, the 'Ī’oi, the Kura, Pua Neinei and even the Kikau broom!

At the end of the day a random prize draw from our box full of entries provided us the names of our three lucky winners who each received a TIS thermos flask stainless steel water bottle valued at $40. Congratulations to the lucky winners, Teariki Briante from Titikaveka College, Trinity Patia from Tereora College, and Inano Pita from Apii Avarua.

2024 was another fantastic career expo, many thanks to the organisers, sponsors, exhibitors, and all of the students involved!