The University of Otago will lead three new and innovative projects aimed at engaging New Zealanders, and young people in particular, to learn more about science and technology. The three projects are among 28 “Unlocking Curious Minds Contestable Fund” grants announced today through the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment. One Otago project involves turning a shipping container into a mobile teaching and research laboratory that visits South Island rural schools. Another will establish a two-day science camp for primary and intermediate-aged girls. The third is a project to engage at-risk youth in Otago, Southland and Auckland with science using waka as a travelling science classroom.
The Unlocking Curious Minds fund is a new initiative in response to the Government’s “Science in Society” National Science Challenge. It is being implemented alongside a Participatory Science Platform pilot programme that will create research partnerships between communities and scientists. The platforms are being piloted in South Auckland, Taranaki and Otago this year.