STEM Alliance Aotearoa and Te Hononga Akoranga COMET are excited to highlight the impactful learning projects funded by the Curious Minds South Auckland Participatory Science Platform.
80% of future professions are predicted to require basic STEM skills. This alone highlights the immediate need to engage with students in science and technology subjects as early as possible. The 2022 Curious Minds South Auckland Showcase highlights STEAM projects that have done exactly that.
Dr Niven Brown, Scientist, Auckland Astronomical Society worked with three early childhood centres in Māngere and Papakura to learn about astronomy from a Samoan perspective. He commented:
“It was wonderful to see the children’s enthusiasm and to hear the stories of how introducing this new area of interest has sparked the idea of becoming a scientist or an astronaut. If getting exposed to science generates an interest in science, and education in general, that can only be a good thing for their futures.”
This was one of 29 projects funded between 2020-2022 covered within the latest showcase. Altogether, over $431,000 in funding was distributed. Engaging 1,500 young people and encouraging STEAM projects to be explored across 43 schools partnering with 86 organisations.
Each project is granted up to $20,000 to undertake research in collaboration with local community partners, educators and STEAM professionals. To be granted funding, the projects must meet the below criteria:
Educationally Valuable: including two-way learning opportunities for those involved.
Scientifically Robust: Tackle a research problem in partnership with STEAM experts, to generate new scientific and/or technical outputs.
Locally relevant: Involve community members in research that is engaging, locally relevant and community-driven.
Be primarily located within the funding boundaries outlined by Curious Minds.
Download the Curious Minds Showcase to read more.
Find out more about Curious Minds south Auckland here.