Students in Northland and South Auckland will learn about how to improve the quality of the air they breathe inside their classrooms and homes, thanks to a project led by Massey University.

The project is one of 33 innovative science projects to receive funding through the $2 million 2018 Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund.

The Unlocking Curious Minds fund supports innovative science projects that engage New Zealanders, particularly young people, with science and technology in their everyday lives. The fund is an initiative under A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hiriri I Te Mahara – a National Strategic Plan for Science in Society, and is jointly run by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Ministry of Education, and the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods today announced the successful projects for next year.

“The 33 projects are of the upmost quality and will increase engagement in science and technology within communities, in regions and at a national level,” she says.

Among the projects is a program run by Pam Fergusson Charitable Trust for rangatahi in Huntly and Ngaruawahia to design and develop Māori digital learning games, aimed to build computer programming skills. Another project, run by University of Canterbury, aims to inspire school students to study science and engineering by drilling into a volcano using a 3D interactive holographic game.

“This fund is truly collaborative and community-led, with projects run by primary schools, tertiary education organisations, Crown Research Institutes, museums, and many others,” says Woods.

“Engaging our young people in science, and in particular those who have fewer opportunities to do so, is one of the best ways to ensure we have more New Zealanders choosing to enter STEM fields, and have a highly skilled, innovative workforce fit for the 21st century.”

A full list of the 33 successful Unlocking Curious Minds projects can be found here.



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