$2m to connect young Kiwis with science

  • Steven Joyce
Science and Innovation

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced that 44 projects have been successful in the 2016 round of the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund.

The Fund, launched in 2015, has already seen 53 projects deliver science and technology experiences for our young people and communities throughout New Zealand.

The Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund is a great way to develop the curiosity of young people about how the world works,” Mr Joyce says. “New Zealand needs more young people who are passionate about science and technology, and these projects will help them develop that passion.

“It is excellent to see continued high demand for the fund, with a large number of innovative applications from a wide range of applicants, including community organisations, schools, charitable trusts, universities, Crown Research Institutes, and the business sector.

“Applicants have again really applied their creativity to reach young people that have limited opportunities to engage with science and technology.”

A total of 44 applications spanning a range of science and technology topics have been awarded funding, almost $2 million in total.

Successful projects include topics such as:

  • engaging scientists, schools and community groups to restore whitebait (Inanga) spawning areas in five regions throughout New Zealand using new research in freshwater ecology,
  • igniting scientific curiosity in young people and families through the science of climate change and the story of Antarctic exploration, 
  • involving young Māori around New Zealand in science and technology through astronomy, space travel and physics, 
  • inspiring Year 10 students from Christchurch to design a resilient and sustainable pop-up model house using Computer Aided Design and laser cutting, 
  • working with local primary and secondary school students to explain the National Park wetland mystery and an amazing journey from scientific discovery to engineering,
  • connecting Year 9 and 10 students from Dunedin with innovative businesses in the science and technology sector to provide inspirational, behind-the-scenes experiences before their important year 11 NCEA subject decisions.

The Fund was developed under the A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri I te Mahara – a National Strategic Plan for Science in Society. Curious Minds is a cross-agency programme of work led by MBIE, the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.

The Fund offered two levels of grants in the 2016 round: up to $30,000 for local projects, and up to $150,000 for regional or national projects.

More information about the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund and other projects supported under Curious Minds here.