Pūhoro students on innovation and technology expedition in Asia

Members of the The Āmua Ao tour before heading to Asia

Fifteen members of Massey University’s Pūhoro STEM Academy are on an innovation and technology tour to Taiwan and Singapore over the school holidays. 

The Āmua Ao tour gives year 13 Māori high school pupils the opportunity to engage with leaders in health technology, digital technology and computer engineering along with the chance to help build indigenous ties.

The tour is supported by partners New Zealand Qualifications Authority and Callaghan Innovation. It has seen Pūhoro collaborate with the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan, Environmental Science and Research and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to create a unique experience for students to engage hands on with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) whilst broadening their perspectives of technology and innovation being implemented abroad.

Pūhoro STEM Academy director, Naomi Manu says the aim of Āmua Ao is to inspire, connect and expose senior Pūhoro STEM Academy students to the dynamic STEM horizons of the world.  “These trips are really eye opening to the students and the unique blend of science, technology and culture they will experience, enhances their own understanding of their unique identity as Māori while at the same time affirming their place as the STEM innovators of tomorrow ”.

Manukura school pupil Harata Coleman says she is delighted to have been chosen. “I am so happy to be selected on this trip and I hope to be able to explore the indigenous culture of Taiwan and see what science has to offer out in the big wide world!”

In previous years the programme has seen students travel to Hawaii and more recently visit NASA in Houston Texas. These tours have provided priceless opportunities for the Pūhoro students, and have connected them with experiences and people that have impacted students lives for the better.

Pūhoro business development director Renata Hakiwai says that “From a whakapapa perspective, this trip allows us to carry our tauira back along the genetic trail that connects them to ancestral roots in Taiwan, while at the same time, showcasing to them the world’s leaders in innovation, science and technology. Fundamentally, this trip will act as a catalyst to help unleash the inner ‘Māui’ within all of our tauira as they take their place as leaders and pioneers of the future.”

About Pūhoro

The Pūhoro STEM Academy aims to raise Māori participation and achievement in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths by engaging with secondary school pupils from years 11-13 and beyond through tertiary and into industry. The programme continues to move from strength to strength and has grown to support over 600 students across the country.

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