Technology Valley concept boosted by Curious Minds

Hutt Valley news
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Chris Bishop is congratulating four projects from Hutt Valley organisations which have been successful in the 2016 Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund announced this week by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce. Lower Hutt based GNS Science was awarded funding for three different projects, while the Hutt City Council will be funded to deliver a Hands On Hutt Science programme.

The Fund, launched in 2015, delivers science and technology experiences for young people and communities throughout New Zealand. Chris Bishop, the National List MP based in the Hutt Valley, says the four successful projects from GNS Science and the Hutt City Council demonstrate the capacity for the Hutt Valley to become a centre for technology, science and innovation in New Zealand.

“The success of these applicants reflects the growing status of the Hutt Valley as a leader in technology and science in New Zealand,” says Mr Bishop.

“With a large number of innovative applications from a range of applicants, the four successful projects will develop the curiosity of young people in the Hutt and in other parts of New Zealand. Their creativity in reaching young people that have limited opportunities to engage with science and technology will be the catalyst for turning the Hutt Valley into Technology Valley.

“On Monday I held a public meeting bringing together a number of industry and community leaders, along with experts and innovators to discuss how we can transform the Hutt Valley into Technology Valley. High on the agenda was the success of these projects along with previous successful applications.

“The success of the 2016 funding round follows the successful award of funding to Koraunui Primary School in 2015. The Hutt Valley really is leading the way in community-based approaches to teaching science to young people.”

GNS Science has been awarded funding for three projects which include ‘Action Planet’, a hands-on approach to help youth with learning disabilities learn about Planet Earth; ‘Sensors in schools’, a project to measure air quality inside schools throughout the Hutt Valley; and ‘Dinosaur Footprints’, a collaboration with Collingwood Area School in Takaka. The Hutt City Council has been awarded funding for ‘Hands on Hutt Science’, a project that transforms the classroom into a laboratory with children working as scientists.

The Fund was developed under the A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri I te Mahara – a National Strategic Plan for Science in Society. Curious Minds is a cross-agency programme of work led by MBIE, the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.

The Fund offered two levels of grants in the 2016 round: up to $30,000 for local projects, and up to $150,000 for regional or national projects.

Click here for more information about the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund and other projects supported under Curious Minds.