Trust introduces new technology

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New technology is helping the Life Education Trust bring learning opportunities to local schools.
Life Education Trust Canterbury educator Claire Leach and trustees David Blackwell and Dean Percy gave a demonstration of the new $130,000 animated movie screen and Xbox in a mobile classroom to Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey and local councillors during a visit to Rangiora New Life School on Monday.
Mr Blackwell says the new technology allows educators like Ms Leach to engage with the children. Students can watch movies, view digital images and even see themselves on the big screen.
Ms Leach says the technology is set up to show virtual images of a child’s anatomy.
‘‘The kids think it’s really their heart. Looking at the digestive system is quite popular and following it through.
‘‘The kids love coming in here – it’s really exciting for them.’’
Ms Leach says the trust offers schools ‘‘50 big questions which align to the school curriculum’’. Schools choose two to three questions for each year level.
Lessons include ‘‘harm reduction’’ (which explores alcohol and drugs), puberty and healthy food for the older kids, while a lesson on ‘‘resilience’’ has been developed since the earthquakes. ‘‘Social relationships’’ and healthy food are a popular lessons for the junior kids.
Mr Blackwell says the trust’s aim is to give kids ‘‘good knowledge so they can make their own decisions’’.
The children receive a booklet which they can take home and further information and activities are available on the trust’s website.
The Life Education Trust started out in Canterbury 28 years ago and now has 35 trusts throughout the country. The local trust operates three mobile classrooms which visit 83 primary and intermediate schools throughout the region, including North Canterbury from Rangiora and Kaiapoi through to Cheviot.
While schools pay a small fee, Mr Blackwell says the trustees are left to raise a $200,000 shortfall, as the trust receives no central government funding, but it does receive an annual grant from local councils, including Waimakariri.
The trust is also looking at fitting wheelchair lifts to the mobile classrooms, as funding becomes available.
The mobile classroom was due to spend four days at Rangiora New Life School, while it stays longer at larger schools.