Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Education Minister Hekia Parata today launched the Government’s action plan to encourage engagement with science and technology across all sectors of New Zealand.
A Nation of Curious Minds: He Whenua Hirihi I te Mahara – is the blueprint for the Science in Society Project and has been jointly developed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry of Education with close involvement from the office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.
The plan lists four key areas for action:
- creating new opportunities for teachers and students to engage with scientists and industry both inside and outside the classroom, right across the education system
- attracting students from a wider range of backgrounds to study science and technology and follow careers in the growing STEM-related occupations
- encouraging the science sector to be more engaged with the wider community so New Zealanders are more aware of the relevance of scientific research and the new technologies and innovations it provides
- setting up a new platform to engage students, communities and scientists in to set up participatory research projects across the New Zealand, where volunteers, teachers and students can collaborate with science professionals.
“Science, and the knowledge and innovation that flow from it, plays a critical role in creating and defining our future,” Mr Joyce says. “As many New Zealanders as possible should be able to respond to the challenges and opportunities science presents, and have the confidence to take part in debates involving science and technology.”