High school students from 10 Bay of Plenty schools have been exploring Rotorua's geothermal features in the annual Taiohi-Taiao/Youth Jam event.
Eighty Year 11-13 students are taking part in the two-day event, hosted by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
It aims to foster environmental awareness, youth leadership and participation through presentations and field trips on topics that relate to them and the wider community.
Regional council chairman Doug Leeder said Youth Jam was aimed at encouraging young people to be involved in their local communities, environments and council activities.
"Youth Jam is about creating awareness of our valuable resources.
"Recognising that the resource is valuable, but vulnerable, is an important message that students can help us deliver."
The theme of this year's Youth Jam is Explore Geothermal, paying special attention to geothermal features around the region and the importance of sustainable management.
Students participate in workshops, skills development, and field trips, including gaining an understanding of how young people can contribute to council processes.
Yesterday students explored three geothermal areas: Whakarewarewa, Te Puia and Kuirau Park.
In addition to the two-day programme, 12 student leaders worked with the regional council to help provide support and facilitation for the event.
Sophie Jansonius, 15, and Chantelle Cobby, 17, were two of 13 students chosen from Rotorua Girls' High School to attend the event.
Sophie said she was enjoying learning leadership skills.
"It's a really cool learning experience and getting to know other people than just at your school is awesome."
Chantelle enjoyed learning about the geothermal side of things because even though it was close to home she had never really learned how it all worked. She was also enjoying meeting new people.
"We have been doing team building and there is a really diverse group of people but we are all somewhat like minded."