CHRISTCHURCH, Feb 22 - The First World War Centenary Programme (WW100) will see students use artefacts from the war in their research as part of a hands-on inquiry-based learning approach.

Prime Minister and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Jacinda Ardern says the project was a great way to engage students with the centenary of the First World War and ensure the stories of New Zealanders during the war were never forgotten.

Discovery boxes containing replica artefacts from the war have already been distributed to 1000 classrooms across the country.

"The boxes form part of the Walking With an Anzac education programme, a project aimed at supporting students and teachers to unearth the stories of local WWI soldiers using the vast array of online records now available," Ms Ardern said.

One of the stories kids will explore is that of Alexander Aitken and his violin - who played the instrument almost every night in the trenches of Gallipoli, bringing the power of music to soldiers surrounded by war.