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Massey University’s Pūhoro STEM Academy programme is the first of its kind in New Zealand.
The academy, set up by Massey University with Te Puni Kōkiri support, fosters young Maori school pupils from Year 11 on their journey through to university, and ultimately the workforce. The programme works to engage with teachers and whanau to support the students’ science study in the Manawatū and Bay of Plenty and to build a wider community of Pūhoro students who share their passion for science.
Participants in the Puhoro Science Academy have achieved pass rates that surpass nationwide averages.
Mana Vautier, who has previously worked with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), is the ambassador and “Big Brother” for the Pūhoro STEM Academy.
Mr Vautier says it is “much needed.”
“I especially like the ‘hands on’ aspect of field trips, lab work and career exposure. I have always enjoyed helping other people, and with my Māori heritage, I am excited to be a part of this academy. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to hopefully inspire and motivate others to bigger and better things by sharing my life experiences with them. I have always loved looking up at the night sky as long as I can remember, and just knew that I wanted to one day be involved in some way with the human exploration of space.”
Mr Vautier will be regularly checking in with the students and providing on-going support. He launched the Academy in 2016, with former NASA astronaut Colonel Rick Searfoss.
The Pūhoro Academy Programme is funded by Massey University and the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge with support from the Palmerston North City Council, Te Tumu Paeroa and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
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Last updated on Wednesday 18 October 2017