This project was completed by Year 6 – 8 students, studying the reasons behind the continued development of irrigation infrastructure in our local Duntroon/North Otago area.

The students gathered their information via:

While on our field trip it was easy to see the difference that irrigation makes to farmland as you can see above.

  • Watching old television footage about drought in our area.
  • Reading old newspaper clippings referring to times of drought.
  • Emailing, faxing, writing and ringing experts.
  • A fieldtrip around irrigating farms and related irrigation infrastructure.
  • Inviting experts to visit.
  • Searching internet archives for recorded interviews with irrigation experts etc.

As more than half of the class live on farms, we had a good knowledge base from which to work - as they clearly understood the value of water to farming practices. In saying this only some of these are irrigated farms and for many children irrigation has been a recent addition to their families farm - so we still had plenty of scope for learning.


  • The posing of inquiring questions to gather the necessary data
  • Using Front Page to develop a web site
  • Understanding the relevance of information gathered beyond an individual farm
  • Being able to judge accuracy of information
  • Organisation and processing of information gathered
  • Reflection and modification of work to enhance the end product

Interpersonal Skills:

  • Co-operation and communication skills
  • Learning to listen
  • Being responsible for achieving a goal and working to full individual capability
  • Ability to compromise and show consideration towards others.


  • Unit related terminology
  • Understand how the local area has changed as people try to harness the power of water from the Waitaki via dams and past/present irrigation systems.
  • Water gathering/delivery and application methods
  • The water cycle
  • States of matter (solids, liquid and gas)
  • Value of water to humans, animals and plants etc

Essential Learning Area:

Social Studies & Science in the NZ Curriculum at Levels 3 and 4

Social Studies Strands:

Time, Continuity & Change (AO1)

Economic Resources (AO1)

Place & Environment (AO1)

Science Strands:

Planet Earth & Beyond (AO 1 & 2)

Physical World (AO 1/2)

Living World ( AO 2 & 4)

Making sense of the Nature of Science & its Relationship to Technology (AO 1 & 2)

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