Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Hutt’s Innovative Young Minds Inspiring Future Generations

29 October 2018

Hutt’s Innovative Young Minds Inspiring Future Generations of STEM Professionals

A pioneering programme driven by the Hutt City Council and the local Rotary Club is changing the way young women view careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) with more opportunities about to be made available across New Zealand.

Since launching in 2017 eighty young women in their senior secondary school years have taken part in Innovative Young Minds (IYM).

The week-long residential programme allows participants to experience what it is like to work in the diverse industries which comprise STEM. ICT, engineering, manufacturing and research-based companies, Crown Research Institutes, and tertiary education providers open their doors to showcase the work they do and profile the myriad of job opportunities available in these sectors.

And IYM is making a difference. 97% of participants have said they will pursue a career in STEM. This compares to less than a quarter of people studying towards a science degree choosing engineering and just over a third studying ICT according to the Careers NZ website. These study trends are reflected in a workforce that is not performing well in terms of gender diversity. 23% of the tech industry and 7% of all engineering graduates in New Zealand are female. These are also sectors of the New Zealand economy experiencing significant skills shortages.

The Hutt City Council’s STEM Sector Development Manager Dr Laura Sessions who leads the IYM programme for the Council says, “The Hutt City Council has a strategic focus on increasing the number of high-tech businesses and growing employment opportunities in STEM to power economic growth. Through IYM young women have first-hand experience of the job opportunities in STEM. They can visualise the contribution they could make in their careers particularly in the fields of new technologies, engineering and high-value manufacturing.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“IYM is making a material difference to subject and career choice for young women. We are seeing young women through their ongoing connection with IYM choose to focus their studies in digital technology, science and engineering. This is very encouraging and the reason why we are opening up IYM to secondary schools nationally, focusing particularly on low-decile schools.”

Sue Avison from Hutt City’s Rotary Club says, “Rotary wanted to provide tangible support to young women who would not otherwise have the opportunity or, in some cases the confidence, to approach companies to experience STEM. We are pleased to continue our support for IYM into 2019.”

IYM also includes introducing participants to role models and providing mentoring and ongoing support through ever-expanding alumni.

Sithmi Hewage is a 2017 IYM alumna and currently a year 12 student at Hutt Valley High School. She describes IYM as “a huge confidence booster” which really opened up opportunities she didn’t know existed.

“The networking opportunities provided by IYM are incredible. You get the chance to meet like-minded people and stay connected to them. One IYM student went on to intern at Pertronic, a company which designs develops and manufactures advanced automatic fire detection systems. Another interned at the Civil Aviation Authority. These only came about because of IYM,” says Sithmi.

IYM opens for applications for the 2019 on 1 November. The programme is expanding from 40 places to 80 and being run in two one-week blocks in the July 2019 school holidays. Applications are welcome from Lower Hutt secondary school students and, for the first time, applications are being encouraged from secondary schools across New Zealand.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How Climate Change Threatens Cricket‘s Future

Well that didn’t last long, did it? Mere days after taking on what he called the “awesome responsibility” of being Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon has started blaming everyone else and complaining that he's inherited “economic vandalism on an unprecedented scale” - which is how most of us would describe his own coalition agreements, 100-Day Plan, and backdated $3 billion handout to landlords... More

Public Housing Futures: Christmas Comes Early For Landlords

New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900M on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023. More

Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw. More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru. More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.