The learning resources align with the New Zealand school curriculum for years 1-8 and aim to help children learn about dairy farming and where milk comes from, as well as introducing dairying as a career option.
DairyNZ Schools includes resources within the curriculum areas of science, maths, English, technology, economics and geography and uses a dairy context to teach these compulsory curriculum areas.
A downloadable version of each learning resource can be found on the DairyNZ Schools website and a limited number of hands-on learning kits are released to teachers each year to support practical and innovative learning.
Teachers can also sign up to visit a farm for a unique experience to complement their classroom teaching, where children can experience their classroom learnings in a real farm environment.
Linking urban and rural
An annual activity in the education programme is the DairyNZ CLASS-ified Game of Moostery, which links 150 rural schools with 150 urban schools around New Zealand.
It challenges children to put on their detective hats and figure out their partner school’s name and location using clues in the form of a photographic scavenger hunt and a video chat session. This resource aims to increase understanding and create empathy and real-world connections between rural and urban children.
A taste of science
Introducing 'dairy' as a topic into the science curriculum at an early age not only increases children’s knowledge about dairy farming and where their milk comes from, but it can also spark an interest in a career in the dairy sector and introduce a pathway into agri-science.
A recent education module, 'Can it Ice Cream', took the approach of starting with the products children already know and love – ice cream and milk – and introducing them into the science curriculum area of investigating a change of state (in this case from liquid to solid). In addition, an extra challenge of creating a breakfast flavoured ice cream was thrown into the mix. In the module, children got to find out about what products are made from milk and where that milk comes from.
Teachers who are using DairyNZ’s education resources in the classroom can also apply for a School Farm Visit. This provides experiences outside the classroom for children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience a real farm environment.