On Thursday 6th September, the Westlake Science department opened it labs, equipment and expertise to an excited bunch of 40 students and staff from Takapuna Normal Intermediate. The program, the brain-child of two of Pupuke Kāhui Ako’s Within-School Leaders, Jon Webster and Jihan El-Labany, was devised and planned over several months by an action group of 15 Westlake students. On Thursday, these boys became Masters in their own right, and were inspirational in the manner and skill with which they engaged and inspired their eager proteges.
Beyond Thursday’s pilot program, the intention is that many more students from across the Pupuke community will be able to access this experience in the future, both at Westlake Boys and Westlake Girls. And as Greg Ford, one of the visiting teachers from TNIS reflected:
“the potential is endless not only in terms of inspiring students but its relevancy and power with regards to authentic transitions. Beyond science, there is no real limit to the range of faculties and subjects that could similarly open their doors in a variety of ways to inspire our primary and intermediate community.”
It’s been fun thinking of all the things we could do and working through how we might deliver it. We’ve met every Monday this term and had a few sessions out of class to practice things. And then doing it all today, it has been cool to see how much the year sevens have enjoyed it. Henry Mitchell-Hibbert year 13 Westlake
I really enjoyed making the snap, crackle and pop and making the flame start up again. It’s great to get out into a big school like Westlake and do lots of experiments Sam Dawson – year 7 TNIS
The equipment is pretty complex and I really liked the chemistry session. All the teachers at Westlake were really, really nice. Me and my friend didn’t want to do the dissection, so we were allowed to investigate some nerves cells and bacteria under the microscope. It was great! Jeet Patel – year 7 TNIS
I’ve really enjoyed the chemistry experience, but I am particularly looking forward to the biology. I am hoping to come to Westlake in a couple of years, so after today I’m really excited about studying science when I get here. Adam Grappengeiser – year 7 TNIS
It was fascinating to be able to see, first-hand, the passion and the ability of the younger kids and it felt amazing to be able to help fire that passion. Yiming Xu – year 12