How History Guided Our Inquiry

| By Heather Graham

Enviroschools Facilitator Heather Graham explains how the Nelson Heritage Festival event inspired Enviroschools students to develop their ideas about active travel, and to link them to how their grandparents and great-grandparents may have travelled to and from school…

Twenty six classes from four Enviroschools took part in the three-day active travel challenge – which could include Victorian dress-ups, comparing photos of modern- day Nelson to historical photos, and learning about travelling as a character from the past.

Dan with his transport chariot.

The three day event was followed by a hands up survey of normal travel on the fourth day. The last day was reserved for celebrations!

Nelson Central had the highest number of classes taking part and students took learning to a high standard. They interviewed residents of the local rest home and held a student lead active travel before school fun event.

Other highlights were the huge effort that students from all schools went to dress in theme and class discussions even saw Birchwood students learn about children who used to arrive at school via horse and one by plane!!

This event was a great opportunity for schools to enjoy the use of the Sport Tasman bike skills trailer, testing children’s abilities and determination.

Dan Turninsky, a student at Nelson Central, was inspired by the challenge and wanted to give it a go so he and his dad collaborated at home to bring a “historical transport chariot machine” to life as part of the challenge.

Student organising committee at Nelson Central School.

Planning a Sustainable Celebration
When planning began for the first Enviroschools Heritage Festival event we were inspired by Tom Ransom’s (Nelson Heritage Festival) past experiences in the UK with active travel.

We decided that linking the celebration to history might make for an interesting angle to promote our work around sustainable communities, health, and energy.

However “Prizes” are always a little challenging when working in the area of sustainability. We don’t want to be producing lots of waste in the process.

I had seen the Fender Blender concept being used in other areas and thought it spoke of innovation, health and of course FUN. Lucky for us Tom, had used these in the past and knew just where to source it!

Nelson Central enjoyed the winning prize of a “History of the bike” performance and storytelling workshop by Tanya Batt from Imagined Worlds.