University of Otago exhibition teaches Tongan children about threat of climate change

Tongan school children have been visiting a hands-on exhibition on climate change organised by the University of Otago.

About 1000 children and member of the public attended the 10 day even, ‘Far From Frozen.’

While most invitation to attend the exhibition went to schools in Nuku’alofa, students from Fo’ui Primary School in Hihifo were able to attend after Lord Vaha’i paid for a bus to bring them to the exhibition.

Hoi Primary school in Hahake also came to the event.

The exhibition was organised jointly by Otago University, Otago Museum and Tonga’s Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC).

MEIDECC Minister Poai Tei aid climate change was Tonga’s biggest threat and the exhibition would help student learn more about the issue.

Museum visitor experience and science engagement director Dr Craig Grant said pupils were  “picking up the message about how important Antarctica is in driving ocean currents and climate patterns in the South Pacific.”

Dr Grant told the Otago Daily News the exhibit was intended “to get the kids to realise the climate change is real and imminent” and required “action today, not tomorrow.”

Students responded positively to the exhibit.

“They’ve talked about it in class, the greenhouse gases and stuff, but like all the activities here are making me understand it more,” one student told the Tongan Broadcasting Commission.

Staff from the university who accompanied the exhibit included Dr Losa Moata’ane, Dr Mele Taumoepeau and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Science Professor Richard Baker.

The main points

  • Tongan school children have been visiting a hands-on exhibition on climate change organised by the University of Otago.
  • About 1000 children and member of the public attended the 10 day even, ‘Far From Frozen.’

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