Pupils urged to enter fair

St Theresa's School (Bluff) Year 6 pupils Bosun Metzger (left) and Blake Johnson- Topi work on their social science projects for the upcoming Southland Social Sciences Fair to be held in Invercargill next month.

PUPILS throughout Southland are researching and preparing various social science topics for their exhibitions as part of next month’s Southland Social Sciences Fair.

Fair chairman Lloyd Esler said although the exhibits were usually prepared through schools, independent and home schooled pupils were also welcome to submit an entry.

“Social sciences involves anything to do with people and how things work for us, such as biographies, genealogy, heritage, transport, sport, framing, hobbies, cultures, disasters, current events and so on.”

Into its 16th year, the fair was aimed at Year 5-13 pupils.

Mr Esler said 150 exhibits had already been registered, but he hoped for 300 this year and was in the process of “going around schools to drum up interest”.

Bluff’s St Theresa’s School Year 6 pupil Bosun Metzger planned to enter his project on safety on the muttonbird (titi) islands.

The 10-year-old said he had recently come home to Bluff from the islands.

“We learned about [the dangers of] rock overhangs, where the land was eroded underneath… not to go past the rags or reflectors [that have been placed to warn us].”

Bosun also noted “the birds [titi] sit there because they know that we can’t go there.”

Another point he was expanding on was personal safety.

When we are on the islands, “we have to let people know where we are going in case we get hurt, so they know where to look for us”.

Fellow pupil Blake Johnson-Topi (also 10) said his topic would be about his pet lamb, Blacky, who was 2 months old and lived on Ruapuke Island in Foveaux Strait.

“He looks brown, but when you shear it, it’s black [wool].”

Blake, who lived in Bluff and on Ruapuke Island, said it was “really hard mustering the sheep” on the island.

“They like to run down the beach and like to eat the seaweed.”

He hoped Blacky would become more of a companion, a friend, to him, he said.

“He’s really easy to spot…

“I want to put a collar on him and take it along the beach.”

Mr Esler said the public were welcome to visit the fair, with people of all ages, from kindergarten children to grandparents regularly taking the opportunity in the past.

“It’s always a fantastic opportunity to learn.”

  • Southland Social Sciences Fair, Invercargill Workingmen’s Club, Tuesday, June 15, to noon on Saturday, June 19. Entry free.