Ministry of Inspiration manifests at Nayland


The 6th and 7th of September saw most secondary schools in the Nelson area closed to students as teachers took part in professional development, followed by a well-earned mid-term break. Not so for a sizeable bunch of Nayland College’s amazing staff and students, however.

Instead, they were hands-on-deck offering creative and thought-provoking workshops, volunteering as hosts or attending the event as participants.

Here, gifted and talented facilitator Glenis Paul recounts the event:

Day One of the Ministry of Inspiration’s annual INSPIRE Festival started with an amazing level of anticipation and excitement as over 400 students from 42 schools across the region flowed into the Nayland College hall.

During the day students from Years 5 to 8 participated in four one hour workshops run by Nayland College staff and experts from all over New Zealand. The variety of workshops was the incredible: from investigating bioluminescent organisms to kapa haka, from pinhole cameras to dance, and from drumming to making a Western movie. There really was something for everyone!

At lunchtime the team from the University of Otago carried out an experiment to see how changing the temperature of liquid nitrogen would affect the explosiveness of a cannon filled with soft toys. Interestingly, we still have not rescued all the soft toys from the roof of Block 1 and next time we might be issuing everyone with ear muffs 😊.

Day Two of INSPIRE allowed Year 8 to 10 students to spend three hours fully immersed in their chosen workshop. Students were able to find out more about how their brains work, or visit the Air NZ engineering hanger and see engineers in action, or discover if the spells in Harry Potter actually can be recreated in the Muggle world. They could choose to participate in a six hour Masterchef challenge, learn the basics of robotics and coding, find out more about nanotechnology, learn how to navigate without ‘technology’ or create beautiful jewellery and greeting cards.

By the end of the two day festival, over 600 students had experienced hands on learning in a way that is not always possible during a regular school day. The feedback from participating students and their whānau has been overwhelmingly positive. 

A HUGE ‘thank you’ must go to the Nayland College staff and volunteer students who gave up their time to run workshops and help in a myriad of ways during the event. Ma pango, ma whero, ka oti ai te mahi (when everyone plays their part, the work will be complete).

By Nayland College Official