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Digital Pou Carving: Ancestral Stories in 3D

September 21, 2023

Header Image: Students created carved pou digitally and then 3D printed their designs

We recently had a Year 3 / 4 class from a Northland school in our Raranga Matihiko digital learning programme; they were learning more about where their ancestors came from and how they migrated to Aotearoa, to get a better understanding of themselves. They explored digital tools as part of this.

As part of their finished project, students created digital 3D poupou (carved posts) that tell stories about themselves and their families. They learned to use the free online tool SculptGL to create these carvings, and saved their files for further use. These poupou are now on display inside a virtual world together with other 2D and 3D objects the students have created about their ancestors’ journey to Aotearoa. In addition we are 3D printing each poupou so students have their own lasting memento of their learning.

You can try this in your classroom; join our colleague Elaine from Waikato Museum in this episode of Raranga Matihiko TV as she explains more about the meaning behind whakairo (carving) on poupou, followed by Martin from Te Papa showing how to use SculptGL to create a poupou. To support learning,  here are the Teacher Support Materials for this episode.