Schools in South Auckland are partnering up with STEM sponsors to cement science’s place in the community. Ten new projects are getting underway, ranging from beehive monitoring and recycling research to robotic watering systems. COMET Auckland has a vision to connect every Aucklander with the right educational initiatives to realise their dreams. As a part of the SouthSci initiative, a pilot science participation platform, they are excited to be able to announce the newly funded projects. SouthSci manager Dr Sarah Morgan says the broad range of projects offer great ways for communities to engage with science and technology as equal partners. “The projects are fantastically diverse – from building useful structures out of recycled plastic to designing better school ‘houses’ for wētā.” SouthSci project alumnus Nick Pattison says it is revolutionary for this kind of science initiative to take a foothold in South Auckland and empower its communities. “Traditional citizen science has not had a lot of relevance for South Auckland with a history of science organisations coming in to study and test, but not building long-term relationships with us. “In stark contrast, these projects put the power and ownership back in our hands, which we think is directly linked to their success.”
This type of initiative is an example of turning a call for more widespread STEM education into valuable community action.
We can't wait to see what outcomes emerge from these projects, we'll keep you posted.