Kiwi Schools To Receive $200,000 Of STEM Equipment To Inspire Next Generation Of Kiwi Innovators
A new Genesis survey has revealed that nearly 90% of New Zealanders believe the primary school years are vital for children to learn and develop STEM skills. Yet only around half believe teachers in Aotearoa are adequately resourced to teach STEM skills.
The STEM in Primary Schools Talbot Mills Survey, commissioned by Genesis, also revealed 88% of Kiwis would like to see more done at a primary school level to help children develop these skills.
To help arm schools and teachers with more STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) equipment, the Genesis School-gen Trust is gifting $200,000 worth of STEM learning equipment to 39 schools across Aotearoa.
The STEM equipment is aimed at helping thousands of children develop vital STEM skills and knowledge for jobs of the future. The equipment includes laser cutters, 3D printers, laptops and tablets, and robotics.
In September 2021, roughly 45% of jobs filled in Aotearoa were in STEM-related fields, a number that is expected to continue growing, showing the need to prepare students for a world that requires a high level of STEM capability.
Fenwick Primary School in Oamaru is one of the recipients of STEM learning equipment from the Genesis School-gen Trust.
Teacher, Stu Morrison says the school is thrilled to be receiving a Sphero Bolt Robotics Class Pack* from the Trust, which will provide students with a hands-on learning experience they previously didn’t have access to.
“One of the biggest barriers for our school is a lack of funding for and access to STEM equipment. This generous package from Genesis School-gen Trust will help alleviate this and give our tamariki more hands-on learning experience, which is key to their development of STEM skills,” says Morrison.
“Our school provides STEM education for our students in a number of ways, as we try to take a future-focused approach in our teaching. Building our teachers’ knowledge is important to this success, so the great resources that come with the pack will be hugely beneficial. We are going to have a lot of fun and do a whole lot of learning.”
Every year, schools are invited to apply to the Trust for a range of STEM equipment packages to help engage students and lead them into future STEM study and careers.
Tracey Hickman, Genesis School-gen Trust Trustee and Genesis Chief Wholesale Officer, says as a business where a workforce with STEM skills is vital, Genesis understands the importance of inspiring passion in STEM subjects from an early age.
“Kiwi kids are natural-born problem solvers, but to become tomorrow’s innovators, they need to develop the right skills. We’re proud to be supporting schools to prepare rangatahi with the skills they need for jobs of the future. This includes supporting teachers who have an increasingly complex role within the classroom.
“From our own research with teachers, we know that only 16% of year 0-8 teachers report feeling highly confident teaching STEM subjects and that 55% of them are regularly searching for new resources, but that doesn’t always translate into an update of existing material,” says Hickman.
In addition to the work being carried out by the Trust, Genesis’ School-gen programme provides free STEM teaching resources to primary school teachers, via its School-gen website. The STEM resources have been collaboratively produced with primary school teachers, for primary school teachers.
Genesis School-gen’s STEM teaching resources are free, curriculum-aligned and easy for teachers across Aotearoa to access via the Genesis School-gen website.