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Karapiro bridge construction.The virtual tour of the Waikato Expressway is aimed at students in Years 5 to 10. It is designed as a self-guided or collaborative learning resource that teachers can use to support literacy and numeracy, inquiry learning and outcomes within specific learning areas.

The virtual tour aims to

  • provide an authentic context that teachers can build on to deepen the purpose of learning
  • spark students’ civic imagination as they relate to national infrastructure projects
  • illuminate how people working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers (STEM) participate and contribute to New Zealand society.

Videos and short web pages provide an introduction to several topics.

Longer articles provide students with reading material on specific topics. These articles can be read online or downloaded and printed.
Each article is around 1000 words long. These have been assessed using:

New Dale-Chall Readability Tool (external link)

This rated the articles as US Grades 7-8 (approx. New Zealand Years 8-9). Text features such as subheadings, bullet points, photos and captions enhance the readability for a wider ability range.

Curriculum links

Technology: Karapiro Viaduct

Longer article: The right bridge for a tricky place

Technology: technological modelling, characteristics of technology, characteristics of technological outcomes. Science: earth systems (rocks and soil, earthquakes), physical world (forces). English: ideas, language features and structure.

Relating to the environment

Longer article: The bat detectors

Science: nature of science, living world (life processes, ecology). English: ideas, language features and structure.

Links for more information

Waikato Expressway(external link) 

Waikato Expressway on Facebook(external link) 

Long-tailed bat (Department of Conservation)(external link)

Bats (Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand)(external link)

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