Education at Hells Gate Geothermal Park, Rotorua
Hells Gate’s education programs aim to support student learning by providing real-life context within and across learning areas of the national curriculum. The Hells Gate education programs are a unique interactive educational encounter for students of all ages and learning abilities.
Rotorua’s mix of rich culture and strong earth forces provides the backdrop for curriculum based activities covering a spectrum of subjects. Areas of studies include science, geography, social studies, culture and tourism studies.
Hells Gate geothermal reserve is the most active geothermal reserve in New Zealand with unique geothermal features. This provides students with the oppertunity to understand processes that have formed today’s landscape, observe the mechanisms of what drives a geothermal field and at the same time take part in hands-on interactive experiences not available anywhere else in New Zealand.
Home to the only accessible mud volcano in a reserve (composite cone), land coral (bacteria growth in extreme environments), the largest hot waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere, flora, fauna, mud pools and clays (hydroscopic muds) and much more Hells Gate provides the imaginative setting to inspire students.
The diverse components of Hells Gate as a natural geothermal area and as an operating tourist attraction allow programs to be implemented that are able to cater for the diverse requirements of different subjects. Programs can be tailored to suit specific learning objectives, opening with an introductory lecture of the Hells Gate geothermal reserve refined to specific areas of learning.
Worksheets covering the programs learning objective and focusing questions are available on request. Other additional extras can include pH and temperature testing or more involved chemistry testing and analysis or cultural interactive activities such as harakeke/flax weaving, Maori carving and Ta Moko face painting.