Unlocking curious minds

curious mindYoung minds are curious minds and respond well to stimulation and challenge. Scion’s biotechnology scientists are stepping up to that challenge after receiving a $20,000 grant from the Government’s Unlocking Curious Minds fund for a new project to encourage students from low decile schools in the Rotorua area develop a keen interest in science.

“Low decile schools often don’t have access to a lot of resources in science,” says Project Leader for Education and Outreach Andrew Dunningham. “And if kids are not engaged in science by the age of about 12 to 14 years, it’s likely they never will be. We want to excite and interest these kids in science, get them to see the links between science and the values they have, whether personal or cultural, and to understand how science can be used to solve some of the world’s problems.

“We have developed an inquiry-based learning model over the years that generates interest in the students, and improves their learning outcomes. This project will expose students to new science and have scientists explain it to them. They’ll be able to discuss and debate the role of biotechnology now and in the future. They’ll also get the chance to participate in a range of activities on campus, such as demonstrations, presentations and discussions, and to visit some of our labs and facilities.”

Unlocking Curious Minds is part of the national ‘A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara’ strategy to upskill New Zealanders, by encouraging young, ‘harder to reach’ students to engage with science and technology, and actively pursue higher value careers.

For further information
Andrew Dunningham at
andrew.dunningham@scionresearch.com