Giant wasps' nest creates a buzz at school

00:26, Jul 25 2014
Jenny Pollock
LEARNING NEST: Stirling Cathman aka Mr Science and Victory Primary School pupils with the wasps’ nest that was gifted to the school.

Pupils at Victory Primary School couldn't believe the size of a giant wasps' nest gifted to them this week.

At around a metre tall, the nest, believed to have been made by German paper wasps, is bigger than some of the children.

It was dropped off at the school on Wednesday by a woman who discovered it in the lining of a bedroom during home renovations.

Teacher Sterling Cathman, who is known by the children as Mr Science, said no-one was sure what to do with it at first.

Nelson Auto Glass Specialists has since offered to put it in a glass case for the school, free of charge.

The school has been in contact with an entomologist at Te Papa to figure out the best way to preserve the nest.


Cathman said having the wasps' nest on display at the school would hopefully spark a further interest in science among the pupils.

"It created so many questions," he said. The children wanted to know how long it had been in the wall, how the wasps died, how big the queen wasp was, and much more.

"It's so engaging that it just attracts their imagination."

It was something very different for Joseph Domoni, 10, who said he liked the patterns of the nest.

"It was the biggest one I'd seen."

In February, some Victory pupils had an entirely different experience with wasps. Nine children were taken to hospital after a nest was disturbed during a treasure hunt at Tahunanui Beach.

It was good for the children to see a wasps' nest in a different context and be able to learn from it, Cathman said. "This is a much better experience."

The Nelson Mail