One of my involvements is in the Massey University “Pūhoro STEM Academy”. This academy strives to foster and support interest in STEM within young (Year 11-13) Maori as well as support more subscription and involvement in STEM related careers in the future. One of the ways that the academy does this is by supporting and organizing international trips that explore STEM careers and opportunities as well as provide relevance and grounding in the importance of participants culture and language.
In the Term 1/2 school holidays I was provided with the opportunity to join a trip where a group of 15 individuals (selected from the more than 500 participants) would visit the United States of America and spend some time in Houston, Texas exploring the Johnsonville Space center, the STEM opportunities available and the local culture. The opportunity itself was developed in coordination with the Pūhoro Programme ambassador, Mana Vautier, who is a Maori systems integration engineer at the Johnsonville Space center. He is an absolute inspiration to any young Maori who wishes to pursue a STEM career in the future and proof that with the right attitude anything can be achieved.
A couple of group photos from the experience:
And a couple of overview videos: