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Inspiring More Māori Students Into Science And Technology Career Pathways

Hundreds of Māori high school students will soon be inspired to take up STEMM subjects and careers, as part of a new collaboration agreement announced today between the University of Waikato and Pūhoro Charitable Trust, and supported by the Ministry of Education.

The Pūhoro programme aims to work with Māori high school students and ignite their passions in STEMM fields - science, technology, engineering, maths and Mātauranga by providing an enhanced STEMM learning experience underpinned by mātauranga Māori.

Pūhoro Kaihautū spend an hour a week with students during terms one to three; aids with exam preparation in term four; facilitates hands on experiential wānanga at Waikato University; and provides seamless transitions between secondary and tertiary, and then tertiary and the workforce.

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor, Professor Neil Quigley, says he is delighted the partnership has come to fruition and the University is looking forward to working closely with Pūhoro to inspire Māori high school students about science and technology subjects.

“STEM subjects are incredibly important at the high school level because they instill a passion for innovation. They teach problem-solving and exploratory learning, setting students up for success across a variety of fields,” he said.

Pūhoro Manahautū Naomi Manu says that by 2030 the majority of jobs will require some sort of STEM capability, and we need to ensure our young people are future ready and future focused.

“Pūhoro rangatahi are five times more likely than other Māori school leavers to transition from secondary to tertiary education at degree level. There is a considerable amount of work we need to do to ensure as many young people as possible have the opportunity to access pathways that lead to STEMM careers. We know this programme delivers results and we’re excited about the opportunity to work with rangatahi across the Waikato region,” she says.

Along with funding from the Ministry of Education and Waikato-Tainui, the partnership will allow Pūhoro to work with 250 students in Waikato region each year, over the next three years.

Waikato-Tainui representative Raewyn Mahara says the skills students develop in STEMM help them create solutions to the challenges facing the world today.

“STEMM helps prepare our tribal members to be successful in a rapidly-changing high-tech environment. It’s so important for our future that they are supported equitably, motivated and inspired to continue their learning and apply their knowledge for the benefit of their whaanau, hapuu and iwi,” she says.

University of Waikato staff will provide the subject expertise for workshops held by Pūhoro, and Pūhoro’s outreach activities with Waikato high schools will operate out of the University’s Hamilton campus, with two Pūhoro staff members based in the University’s School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. The programme will closely collaborate with academic staff and role models from the Schools of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Engineering and Science.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/puhoro

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