The Taupō Volcanic Zone is rich in geothermal features, including hot pools, geysers and mud pools. Geothermal resources have soothed bodies, warmed homes and hotels and supplied heat for commercial and industrial applications. They supply electricity generation and there are possible new applications of minerals and extreme life forms in the hot water.
Heat is released by the decay of radioactive elements in the earth, with higher heat flow in areas of volcanic activity. This occurs around tectonic plate boundaries and hotspots. Geothermal systems are created where circulating groundwater is heated and rises as a column of hot water to the surface. A small amount of geothermal water is derived from gases originally dissolved in magmas, but most is recycled rainwater.
A variety of chemical reactions occur in geothermal water. Some involve interactions between the water and the rock of the chambers it is in, others sulphur and metal cations. You'll be given test tubes, chemicals and long-handled scoops for testing hot spring water, using the same principles as geologists monitoring potential volcanic activity in Rotorua caldera. If you have covered quantitative analysis in school, we'll get out the burettes and take things a step further.
Choice of activities
- Guided Tour of thermal site
- Qualitative analysis of water from hot pools (samples collected under careful supervision)
- Quantitative analysis of spa and thermal pool water samples
- Discuss properties of geothermal mud in relation to cosmetic medical uses
- Analysis of mud samples
- Discuss park management and safety issues
- Hot swim
New Zealand Certificate of Educational Achievement
- AS90930 1.1 Carry out a practical chemistry investigation, with direction
- AS90944 1.5 Demonstrate understanding of aspects of acids and bases
- AS91910 2.1 Carry out quantitative analysis
- AS91911 2.2 Carry out procedures to identify ions present in solution.
- AS91387 3.1 Carry out an investigation in chemistry involving quantitative analysis.
Q1. Why do teachers choose to tour with Learning Journeys?
Using an outside provider like Learning Journeys allows you to avoid stress and save time to focus on the core demands of teaching and have more time with your family and friends.
- Trips are well tried and tested and our local knowledge, New Zealand-wide, is extensive. • We’ll facilitate your trip as well as planning, recce-ing AND booking it (including transport, food and accommodation). Have as much or as little input as you want.
- Our facilitators are secondary geography or science teachers with years of classroom as well as EOTC experience.
- Trips are curriculum linked and can include NCEA assessment tasks.
- RAMS forms, parents letters, gear lists and worksheets developed and provided for you.
- We’re Qualmarked (Tourism New Zealand has checked us out as a safe, professional, company) and Dept. of Conservation approved.
Q2. Does it cost more for Learning Journeys to organise and run my school's science and geography trips?
Yes it does cost a little more per student. However, you need to factor in the time you'll save by using Learning Journeys. You will also save the cost of relief for staff who would otherwise have come from your school, since Learning Journeys will provide one or more facilitators who will contribute to staff-student ratios.
Q3. What about risk management?
Safety is always paramount in our trip planning and delivery. We are acutely aware of the responsibility of being entrusted with other people’s children. We will provide you with RAMS forms for all activities included in your programme.
Our Health and Safety Plan deals with every aspect of our operations and training. Hazard identification is carried out for every new activity and a RAMS (Risk Analysis and Management System) form is prepared. This process has been audited both by a Department of Conservation approved Safety Auditor and as part of our Qualmark® accreditation
Our teacher-facilitators are trained in safe practice and all have First Aid qualifications. The suppliers we use are fully qualified and experienced in their specialist areas and where available we choose to work with Qualmarked® operators. Their sound safety records are further guaranteed by the Qualmark®, accreditation process.
Qualmark® is New Zealand tourism's official mark of quality. All accommodation and tourism businesses carrying the Qualmark® have been independently assessed as professional and trustworthy, so you can book and buy with confidence.
Q4. Who are your facilitators?
Our trips are managed and facilitated by qualified science or social science secondary teachers with classroom experience as well as many years’ experience in the field.
Q5. How long have you been running field trips for New Zealand secondary students?
Since 2001. Our oldest client did 12 consecutive yearly 3 day trips to Goat Island and Tiritiri Matangi Island. Most other schools repeat trips year after year.