As well as education group bookings, these new galleries are open to everyone to explore and enjoy. “The kaupapa for this new development is that learning through play, exploration and discovery helps build knowledge in young people in a more effective and sustained way” says Dr David Gaimster, Chief Executive of Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The values and purpose of the Joyce Fisher Trust are strongly aligned with the ambitions of the Te Whiwhinga The Imaginarium, designed to provide outstanding education opportunities for our children and whanau, and access to our Taonga for all. The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has generously supported the Learning Base, which is the orientation space of the Imaginarium, to realise the shared vision of providing outstanding learning experiences and engagement for our Auckland tamariki.

The Joyce Fisher Learning Base features unique collections and stories for school groups to experience as they meet with the Museum’s Learning Specialists. Four large ‘hero cases’ deliver a wow-factor, showcasing objects that connect the themes of whakapapa (family), korero (story), ahu-tanga (features) and wahi (place). This entrée to the Museum cultivates both curiosity and understanding, opening young minds to science and matauranga Maori. Within the Learning Base are the new Learning Labs – adaptable spaces with digital technologies that allow for immersive learning experiences, together with wet activity spaces to allow for science-based programmes for ages 5-12 years old.

Stephen Lethbridge, Auckland Primary Principals’ Association (APPA) President, says “Auckland schools are fortunate to have an amazing learning resource in the Auckland Museum. The Imaginarium galleries are another wonderful resource that all our schools can utilise to provide rich learning opportunities for their students.”