AUT has formed a partnership with GirlGuiding New Zealand (GGNZ) following a successful STEMtastic event in 2021. The first stage of the partnership is the launch of a badge designed to build critical thinking and media literacy skills as well as fostering curiosity about studying communication studies and related careers.
The badge, named [ME]dia - AUpāho, takes a task-based approach to the media. Guides (9 – 12 ½ years old) and Rangers (12 – 17 years old) will be able to complete a series of tasks such as interviewing someone, creating a social media campaign, making a podcast or filming a video for TikTok, with case studies and academic work from AUT academics to inspire them.
The brainchild of Nicola Igusa, Communications Manager working with the School of Communication Studies, the GGNZ partnership has received broad support within the University, from Chief Marketing Office Luke Patterson, Director of Commercial Partnerships Tim Huston, Head of School Dr Rosser Johnson and many academics within the school.
“As well as working in the communications team at AUT, I’m a volunteer Ranger leader with GirlGuiding New Zealand,” says Nicola. “I could see this badge would be an exciting way of opening up the many facets of communication studies for Guides and Rangers, helping them build skills and knowledge about the world around them, and a wonderful way of showcasing the incredible work of our School of Communication Studies.”
“We know the media world today’s kids are growing up in is enormously more complex and difficult to navigate,” says Dr Johnson. “The badge partnership allows us to demonstrate the valuable knowledge of our School in a way that young people will find fun and engaging, while learning some great critical thinking and practical media skills.”
GGNZ Development Manager Sophie Harland says Instructional Designer Deanna Kelland, and the wider team loved working with AUT to create the [ME]dia - AUpāho badge for our two older member groups – Guides and Rangers. “GirlGuiding New Zealand is all about encouraging our members to understand and interact with the world around them – whether that’s on a camp, or dissecting the media they consume and that surrounds them every day. We look forward to seeing and hearing what our members create as part of this programme.”