The New Zealand Government will contribute nearly $1 million of new funding to 25 additional projects throughout the country.
Under the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund pilot the Government hopes to engage more young Kiwis with science and technology.
The fund ties in with the innovation and skills stream of the Business Growth Agenda, and the National Statement of Science Investment.
The fund pilot offered two levels of grants: up to $20,000 for local projects, and up to $150,000 for regional or national projects.
Steven Joyce, Science and Innovation Minister, says, “There was very high demand for the pilot programme, and I am pleased to be able to announce this additional funding for a second tranche of innovative projects to engage the public with science and technology.”
He says, “We’ve provided funding to the next highest ranked applications that were not able to be funded with the initial $1 million available in 2014/15.
“We want to support as many of these innovative science and technology-based projects as possible. This means 25 new projects will be carried out in communities around New Zealand.
“Topics include creating communities of young engineers in the Waikato, filming the geology of our National Parks, and discovering new species of fungi.”
The newly-funded projects include:
- A programme that gives primary school children across the country the opportunity to learn to code through free volunteer-led after-school coding clubs.
- Students at Koraunui Primary School will investigate the science and engineering of structures that can be built by the children in the new development of a community garden in the school grounds.
The project will involve local engineers, Hutt City Council personnel and local tradespeople.
- As part of the Greening Taupo initiative, Taupo Primary School is engaging Year 3 and 4 children with the environment through native land restoration around Taupo. Practical activities will involve all the processes needed to get from seed to tree, including biosourcing and composting.
“A further Unlocking Curious Minds funding round calling for new applications will to be announced soon,” Joyce says.