The following programmes operate nationally or across several regions. DOC is also involved with some local education programmes – see what's happening in your region.
Experiencing Marine Reserves
Kids snorkeling at Poor Knights Marine Reserve as part of EMR
Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) is an experiential learning programme about marine conservation. EMR empowers schools and communities by providing the equipment and expertise for hands-on learning experiences in the ocean.
The programme involves investigating marine biodiversity and local marine environments, before venturing to a fully-protected marine reserve. After this experience, students are able to compare unprotected and protected areas and are supported to put their knowledge into action within the community.
Since its introduction in Northland in 2002, EMR has expanded to 8 regions with a team of 16 coordinators nationwide. EMR has guided snorkel experiences in marine reserves around New Zealand involving 24,901 students.
2016 winners Country Creche, Hamilton investigating invertebrates
Habitat Heroes encourages young people to explore a local natural environment and think about how they can make a difference.
Get outdoors and share a summary of your learning to be in to win prizes to support your local conservation project.
LEARNZ virtual field trips are an engaging, curriculum-linked opportunity for students to experience some of New Zealand's special places. They take students to remote and unique places where they meet and get to know people with fascinating careers in conservation and industry.
LEARNZ is free for teachers registered with the New Zealand Education Council teaching at state, integrated and registered private schools.
Marine Metre Squared
Marine Metre Squared (Mm2) is an easy way for anyone to survey the plants and animals living on their local seashore and a great opportunity to get citizen science into the classroom.
Mm2 is free and easy to sign up to and as a registered member you can get full access to the MM2 database to add your data and compare with others in New Zealand. Registered members also get free access to the fantastic primary and secondary teaching and learning resources as well as North and South Island specific 'sandy and muddy' and 'rocky' shore guides available in both English and Te Reo Māori.
New Zealand Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE)
NZAEE is a national, non-profit organisation promoting environmental education initiatives across New Zealand. Members come from a variety of backgrounds, but they all have a common interest in building stronger environmental education opportunities across all sectors of society.
- Offers a national environmental education conference every two years
- Coordinates Seaweek at the national level
- Frequently hosts workshops and forums
- Is an active participant in a number of initiatives including the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
- Serves in an advisory capacity on an array of environmental education issues.
Outlook for Someday
The Outlook for Someday film challenge
The Outlook for Someday challenge is to make a short sustainability-related film. It can be any genre, filmed with any camera and any length up to 5 minutes.
Anyone up to age 24 can enter, either individually or in a team. Entrants are encouraged to interpret 'sustainability' in the way that makes sense to them.
DOC is a partner of the challenge and also sponsors the Big Picture Award.
Sir Peter Blake Trust
The Sir Peter Blake Trust has been working in partnership with Antarctica New Zealand, the Antarctic Heritage Trust, NIWA and DOC since 2008.
It has provided opportunities for young New Zealanders to work on projects in Antarctica, the Southern Ocean and New Zealand through the Blake Ambassador Programme.
Ambassadors have worked alongside teams of scientists, conservationists, engineers and conservators on environmental and heritage restoration projects. They have advanced our understanding and addressed some of the big environmental questions and challenges facing society.
The Toimata Foundation
The Toimata Foundation (formerly known as the Enviroschools Foundation) is a charitable trust which currently supports two programmes available to schools, kura and early childhood centres across New Zealand – Te Aho Tū Roa and Enviroschools. Their programmes are collaborative, empowering and action-focused.
Kids involved in the WBC programme in Canterbury
The Whitebait Connection (WBC) is a national, non-profit community conservation education programme. It is action based and offers concrete and specific ways in which all New Zealanders can come to understand and become involved with our local freshwater environments.
The main focus of the programme is to provide experiential learning opportunities to schools and communities throughout New Zealand.
After discovering their local freshwater environments, students and their communities are encouraged to take action for their local catchment with activities like riparian restoration, fencing, and stream monitoring.
Toyota Kiwi Guardians
Kiwi Guardians is a free, fun and easy way for 6-10 year olds to get to know our beautiful country. They'll learn about protecting our unique native landscape, earn cool rewards and go on epic family adventures.
It's a great way to get kids off screens and into the outdoors in a way they'll love. Grab a map, go and explore, and earn a reward!