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Unlocking more curious minds across the country

Hon Dr Megan Woods

Minister of Research, Science and Innovation


29 November 2018

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods today announced $2 million of funding for 34 projects across New Zealand through the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund.

Megan Woods says the funding will go towards engaging more children and their teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

“Curious Minds is all about inspiring our kids, teens, rangatahi and communities from all backgrounds to get excited about science, which will ultimately help us improve diversity and increase overall number of people studying and working in STEM fields.

“This is one of the ways that we will move towards a highly skilled, innovative workforce fit for the 21st century.

“There are 34 exciting projects lined up for 2019, which provide hands-on STEM experiences for our future scientists, mathematicians, researchers, technicians, and engineers.

“The projects are truly collaborative and community-led, and will be run by primary schools, tertiary education organisations, as well as the likes of Crown Research Institutes and museums.

Among the successful projects scheduled for 2019 are:

• Kaiwhanake Taupānga Māori - Māori Youth Game Development programme by OMGTech! Aiming to empower rangatahi in underserved areas to design and develop Māori digital learning games, and improve their skills in computer science and programming,

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• The Air Science Circus by NIWA. A touring and interactive ‘circus’ of air-themed experiments and experiences for school children.

• Possums and Pythagoras: How mathematics helps solve New Zealand’s pest mammal problem, by Landcare research. By collecting, analysing and mapping their own GPS data during an interactive field trip, students will learn how mathematics helps us to understand animal ecology resulting in effective control of pest mammals.


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