The Lake Boys of Cromwell College first came to our attention towards the end of 2019, when they became active in their concerns about the health of Lake Dunstan.

One of the activities was to do a video on the state of the lake in the Cromwell area, and NIWA were so impressed with their production that they decided to get involved.

Forward to 2021 and the group is involved in a project working alongside Otago Regional Council (ORC) hydrologists, looking at velocity and sediment build-up around Bannockburn Bridge.

This is part of a cross-curricular project with Social Studies and Science as part of their Cromwell College curriculum.

Christchurch-based NIWA Hydrodynamic Scientist Richard Measure has helped with the project design and will continue to provide technical support as the work develops.

“My interest is in giving the students an authentic science task where the information is very useful in monitoring the silt build-up in the lake,” says Richard.

The focus of this project is to monitor sediment throughout the year and look at how this impacts Lake Dunstan and recreational use.

Teachers Kieran Parsons and Stuart Land are working with the boys, and Jono Young and Nick Boyens from ORC are helping them raise more awareness around Lake Dunstan. Teacher Karen Gallagher says, “This is an awesome opportunity for our students to continue learning about our environment, work with experts and learn about how the measuring equipment works.

Some pretty cool stuff!”