Since the programme started in 2015, Hutt Science has been committed to engaging young people in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. This means opening their eyes to exciting career opportunities and encouraging curiosity.
With up to 80% of children finishing primary school not reaching the expected level of achievement in Science, it’s no surprise that New Zealand is facing a shortage of people who are skilled in science and technology. To help improve this stat in Lower Hutt, Hutt Science provides professional training for teachers – the more confident our teachers are in these subjects, the more they’ll be able to inspire our children in the classroom.
To complement this, Hutt Science offers a resource library, supplying 56 local schools with great science kits that are aligned to the New Zealand curriculum. Anne Ryan, Director, says:
To see diversity and equity in STEM, it’s first and foremost that all schools and kids have access to high quality resources, programmes and teachers who are confident to teach science and technology.”
On Tuesday 11 February, Hutt Science partnered with Callaghan Innovation to mark the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science. 50 Year 11/12 female students from 10 schools across the Hutt Valley were invited to experience a range of activities at various labs across the Gracefield Innovation Quarter – meeting and talking with women who work in STEM fields.
With women and girls continuing to be excluded from participating fully in science, the idea was to introduce girls to female role models in the industry, whilst opening their eyes to a range of opportunities that are available to them. They got stuck in to some fun experiments and experienced new technology.
Hutt Science is really grateful to be backed by local science and technology organisations, including Callaghan Innovation, GNS Science, Hutt Valley DHB, Weltec and Open Polytech, who have supported them over the last five years with a number of programmes.
The community support has also been essential to helping Hutt Science to engage and enthuse young people with science and technology.