Taking the message to Tonga

Pupils at the Maamaloa Primary School in Tonga learn more about climate change through a Dunedin-linked educational trip, which began this week.

Staff from the University of Otago and Otago Museum have been visiting schools in Tonga during a 10-day visit, based on the museum's popular "Far From Frozen'' travelling exhibition, museum visitor experience and science engagement director Craig Grant said yesterday.

The trip was "going great'' and school pupils had been "very receptive'', also enjoying some of the technology - such as virtual reality headsets - offered with the exhibition.

The pupils were also "picking up the message about how important Antarctica is in driving ocean currents and climate patterns in the South Pacific,'' Dr Grant said.

The trip's aim was "to get the kids to realise the climate change is real and imminent'' and required "action today, not tomorrow''.

This is one of three Pacific Island educational trips planned this year by the university and museum.