Energising Energy Hui in Hawke’s Bay

| By Sally Chandler, Enviroschools Hawke's Bay

Tawhirimātea - Atua of the wind, with qualities of being changeable, fresh, brisk, gentle or stormy.

Following on from the Enviroschools National Energy! hui held in May 2019, the Hawkes Bay Regional Enviroschools team provided three opportunities for their teachers from early childhood centres and schools to step through the revised Enviroschools Energy! Resource. These “taster” workshops touched on the five key concepts of the Energy! Theme Area and delved into some experiential activities.


The first of this workshop series was run at Wairoa Primary School.  Some simple examples of demonstrating energy were produced by Facilitator Jenni Scothern-King, including activities involving a ping pong ball and straw plus a slinky.  These were great examples of how to demonstrate energy in action to tamariki in ways they could participate, observe and understand.

The recent purchase of some plug-in Energy Meters by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council gave participants the opportunity to measure the amps being used by appliances.  This started the discussion on how to undertake Energy Audits (see p 78 – 85 of the Enviroschools Energy! Resource).


Fifteen people attended our Napier hui, a mix of early childhood and primary teachers. Jenni Scothern-King led the session for us after having successfully run the Wairoa workshop the week prior.

Pictured is the facilitation team at the Napier Energy Workshop: Amy Davidson facilitator CHB, Frances Blake facilitator HFKA, Jenni Scothern-King facilitator Wairoa, Sally Chandler Regional Coordinator and Sonya Sedgwick facilitator Napier/Hastings

We welcomed everyone and started our session experiencing Atua and energy outside our venue, making the most of Tamanuiterā shining down on us with just a gentle breeze from Tāwhirimātea.

This led to observing and experiencing aspects of the ‘Sensing Energy’ activity.

We read aloud ‘The Ways of Tāwhirimātea’ on pg 37 of the resource and then worked in small groups to reflect on what we had learnt.

The next activity, ‘Form – Transform’ (p 61 of the Enviroschools resource) had people working in pairs, putting the jigsaws together.

Participants had fun and lots of discussion working through the various activities organised and considered how they could be used in different settings and thinking about the ways to weave te ao Māori, te reo Māori and contemporary science into the learning for tamariki.


Our final hui in central Hawkes Bay was a cosy affair held at Waipawa Kindergarten. We kicked the session off with a look at our personal energy usage from the time we woke up until arriving at the hui.

We decided to stop a bit earlier in the day as our story was getting really long with the many different forms of energy in action by all of us!

The participants were allocated with different forms of energy, and we acted out each different element using our bodies as conductors.  This was fun and warmed everyone up.

We talked through the ‘Sensing Energy’ activity and highlighted all the areas in the outdoors where different forms of energy are evident.

Examples of cycles in the natural world were used to start a conversation at the beginning of the ‘Form – Transform’ activity and set the scene for recreating the sequences provided. Participants then looked at the ‘Benefit – Impact’ cards and scenarios leading to energetic discussion!

We also reiterated the value of checking out the new Enviroschools website and encouraged everyone to log in to the members area.

Participants work through and discuss the ‘Form – Transform’ and ‘Benefit – Impact’ activities


All the workshops were really worthwhile. Having the opportunity to get into hands on activities is a great way to boost teacher confidence to lead activities on their own as well as share their new knowledge with their fellow staff.