Maori students head to Silicon Valley

  • 17/10/2015
Maori students head to Silicon Valley

A dozen students from a Maori immersion school are setting off to see what's going on in Silicon Valley.

The students from Bethlehem's Te Wharekura o Mauao leave this weekend to visit the technology hub and Stanford University near San Francisco, California.

They will meet with entrepreneurs, investors, PhD students and Stanford professors while working on bioengineering, virtual reality and income inequality projects.

The week-long trip is funded in partnership with Kumikumi Trust in Tauranga, Callaghan Innovation and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and is supported by Anne Gibbon of Matri Design LLC, a former fellow of Stanford University.

Hemi Rolleston, Callaghan Innovation general manager Maori economy, says the trip is a wonderful opportunity to encourage Maori children to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

"This is the first trip of its kind and is a chance for both Callaghan Innovation and NZQA to combine our resources and help these children engage with experts in the technology and innovation fields."

Callaghan Innovation is a Crown agency tasked with making New Zealand business more innovative.

The students will be accompanied by their principal, Koa Douglas, and the school's head of technology, Grant Ranui.

The students range from year eight to year 10.

"Everyone involved in this delegation wants to help inspire these children to consider future careers in science and technology," Mr Rolleston said.