This section highlights the projects and initiatives that Futureintech actively supports – meaning that we promote them to schools and find Ambassadors to mentor the students involved.
Why? We think they are good examples of classroom-based, hands-on learning that enhances both teaching and learning in Technology, Science and/or Careers education. These curriculum-linked initiatives provide students with the opportunity to engage with technologists, engineers or scientists, and raise awareness of the career opportunities available to them.
NZIFST/CREST Student Product Development Challenge
The NZIFST/CREST Student Product Development Challenge was established by the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology and the Royal Society of New Zealand.
The competition gives senior secondary students an opportunity to experience first-hand the process involved in developing an innovative food product from concept through to final production. Students gain an understanding of the innovative work done by scientists, technologists and engineers in New Zealand's food industry, and the challenging and rewarding careers in this sector.
Find out more on the Royal Society website >>
Transpower Neighbourhood Engineers Awards
The Neighbourhood Engineers Awards have been sponsored by Transpower since 2003. The aim of the Awards is to create a greater awareness of the engineering profession and encourage innovative thinking in the areas of engineering and technology.
Neighbourhood Engineers volunteer their services to assist students with projects that meet a need or take advantage of an opportunity in their school or community.
The awards are open to all primary, intermediate and secondary schools in New Zealand and are a practical way to enhance the Technology curriculum.
Find out more on the Transpower Neighbourhood Engineers Awards website >>
Project X is a hands-on electronics and computer programming activity for intermediate school students.
During the full-day event students create an electronic Xmas tree. They learn about electrical circuits and components and develop basic soldering and computer programming skills. The students work in small groups under the guidance of an electrical, electronic or software engineer. These mentors also explain how they use electronics and computer programming skills in their own jobs.
One of the really great things about the activity is that each student takes away their own tree, which they can show to their friends and family, and they can continue programming new light sequences and jingles at home.
Project X was developed in Christchurch as a partnership between Futureintech and the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology). Further sponsorship, primarily from Tait Communications, has supported the expansion of the programme to a small number of schools in Wellington and Auckland.
Find Project X examples in our What We Do collection under 'electronics' >>
Hello Café workshops
Hello Café is a new programme of workshops for girls that supports STEM learning and creative engineering-based problem-solving in the context of humanitarian and global development issues.
Girls aged 10 to 14 participate in a series of hands-on activities that deepen their learning in STEM subjects. The workshops are led by female engineers, who also provide a personal introduction to career opportunities.
The humanitarian context helps engage girls who are interested in 'making the world a better place' and who may be put off engineering by the perception that it's all about 'boy things' - machines and construction.
Workshop activities include filtering water using simple materials, building a model relief shelter, transforming plastic bags into useful products, and constructing a solar-powered light.
Find out more about Hello Café workshops >>
Family Science Workshops
These workshops aim to raise 'science capital' in families that have been identified as having low engagement with science. The project started in 2014, supported by funds from the Government's Unlocking Curious Minds contestable funds and Futureintech.
Primary school students and their parents (or caregivers) are invited to attend the early evening workshops where they do fun activities that introduce DNA and genetics (including extracting DNA from kiwifruit pulp), explore electrical energy, or launch a simple rocket. Interactive games and role plays help explain concepts in an approachable way.
Most of the scientists, engineers and technologists leading the workshops are Futureintech Ambassadors and can discuss scientific concepts of interest to participants, such as health and medicine, environmental protection, and quality control of food quality.
Workshops are organised through a teacher 'champion' and are currently only offered in Auckland.
Learn more on the Family Science Workshops website >>
Flying Fox Challenge
This new Futureintech programme challenges students to use maths to plan and design a flying fox. Over a series of visits, Ambassadors guide students through hands-on activities to measure, calculate and create models of their designs.
The simple, 'real world' application of technology, engineering and science to solve problems will engage your students in learning in maths, technology and science subjects.
Find out more about the Flying Fox Challenge >>