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  • On the islands of Sāmoa, the effects of climate change are being felt. Tsunamis, cyclones and sea level rise are some of the natural hazards villages like Sa’anapu are having to contend with.

    This article shows how the local Council of Matai are working together with a scientist and an architect from New Zealand to combine their cultural and scientific knowledge in order to build a safer future for the local people.

    Rights: Crown copyright 2017

    Connected article: Building for the future

    An article in the 2017 level 3 Connected journal ‘Mahi tahi’ published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

    Pasifika patterns by Aaron McKirdy and photograph by Michael Field.

    Check your school resource area for the article from the 2017 level 3 Connected journal ‘Mahi tahi’, download it as a Google slide presentation from Tāhūrangi ( or order it from the Ministry of Education.

    Rights: Crown copyright 2017

    2017 Connected level 3: Mahi tahi

    The cover of the 2017 level 3 Connected journal ‘Mahi tahi’ published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand. This issue includes the articles ‘Testing the waters’, ‘Captured in ice’ and ‘Building for the future’.

    Background image © Nancy Bertler.

    The teacher support material (TSM) can be downloaded from Tāhūrangi (Word and PDF files are available). These materials focus on the science capability ‘Engage with science’ as well as the Planet Earth and Beyond strand. Activity suggestions include exploring the different materials and designs used to build houses and taking on different perspectives of people within an environmentally at-risk community.

    Science and partnership with a Sāmoan village is a ready-to-use cross-curricular teaching resource that uses Building for the future as the starting point.

    The Hub article Climate change – a wicked problem for classroom inquiry provides a wide range of opportunities to learn about the nature of science and science capabilities and to link science content knowledge to a current socio-scientific issue.

    Related content

    Learn more about the impacts of climate change by exploring the climate change topic.

    The 2017 Connected article Rising seas describes how scientists investigate what is happening with sea levels and use evidence to suggest how we might adapt to the changes. The 2011 Connected article More than a box can help with learning about structures and building.

    Weather and climate – the article Extreme weather explores the difference – and a number of resources look at weather forecasting and weather concepts and activities including the water cycle.

    Our interactive planning pathways and teacher PLD on climate change resources and tackling planning provide excellent support for teachers wanting to use this wicked problem to promote science learning in their classroom.

    More information about how scientists work with models can be found in the article scientific modelling.

    Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.

    Useful links

    Before it is lost is a selection of essays published in the Guardian looking at the impact of the climate crisis threatening the survival of Pacific islands.

    The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Please note that access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details, contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email


    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 7 February 2019, Updated 24 July 2019 Referencing Hub articles
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