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Twelve Bay of Plenty kura students to visit Silicon Valley

This article was published on 16 October 2015

Twelve year 9 and 10 Māori students from Te Wharekura o Mauao in Tauranga will take part in an exciting new initiative being trialled at Stanford University thanks to funding support from Te Kumikumi Trust.
The initiative has been co-created by Callaghan Innovation, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), and Anne Gibbon who is a former fellow of Stanford University. The initiative will test an experiential learning model aimed at building curiosity, ideas and inspire Māori students to think about careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) related areas.
NZQA Deputy Chief Executive Māori Daryn Bean says the experience is an amazing opportunity.
“It is for rangatahi to not just learn about innovation, design thinking and digital technology, but to experience it first-hand at world renowned companies. This is a new generation of Māori students learning in a global and digital world and we are supporting them.” 
The programme will involve exercises in design thinking, innovation and digital technologies at Stanford University d. School (Institute of Design) and students will also visit Silicon Valley including Google Headquarters.
Te Kumikumi Trust member Peter Stokes acknowledges the support for the trip.
“It was great that our Chair, Board members and shareholders recognised the importance of investing in our rangatahi and agreed to support this initiative that we hope will feed their aspirations.”
All of the partners hope students will learn why core learning areas like science, technology and maths are relevant for their futures and how those skills are relevant for their whānau, hapū and iwi development.
Callaghan Innovation General Manager Maori Economy, Hemi Rolleston, says the trip is a priceless opportunity for the students to hone their entrepreneurial skills, build creative confidence and embrace innovative thinking.

“This is the first trip of its kind and is a chance for both Callaghan Innovation and NZQA to combine our resources and help these children engage with experts in the technology and innovation fields.
“Our job at Callaghan Innovation is to support hi-tech New Zealand businesses and this is a great way to encourage tomorrow’s young innovators and get them excited about the world of possibilities that lie ahead.”
The pilot will be evaluated to see what learnings can be applied in New Zealand and to see whether it has an impact on students’ NCEA choices and aspirations.