Another successful Māori student outreach

In November, we hosted 30 students from Ngaa Taiaatea Wharekura and Ngaruawahia High School in the Waikato as part our MedTech CoRE Outreach programme.

The programme has been going for several years now with the aim of encouraging Māori students to consider tertiary study and careers in STEM subjects. It was co-designed with Ngaa Taiaatea Wharekura.

Mel Veituna is the Careers Advisor at Ngaa Taiaatea Wharekura.

“A few years ago, I was approached by Denise Kingi, the CEO of Te Kohao Health, to meet with her and MedTech to set up a relevant programme for our students. We organised a Science Innovation Day here at kura with MedTech scientists coming along to show our students the innovations they were working on in medical science. “

Mel says the students were inspired by this visit and it’s now become a regular event on the school calendar. The Science Innovation Day continues a few months after with the students visiting the two MedTech CoRE Auckland partners, University of Auckland and AUT. The student are allocated a researcher to shadow for the day to understand get an insight into what a scientist does on a daily basis.

“The programme is important because it opens students’ eyes to careers in science and engineering that they wouldn’t previously have had access to.

“Our goal is to show students more career pathways in the science and engineering fields and how that can be fun. Many of our students want careers helping others, and they can see this could be a pathway to do that.”

The programme targets Māori students, particularly in lower decile schools, and giving some extra support to interested students to help them pursue STEM-related subjects.

“Our goal is to build strong relationships with students at high school level and then provide support as they progress to University,” says Diana Siew, Strategic Partnerships Manager at ABI and Associate director of MedTech Core.

“Our goal is not necessarily clinically oriented,” she says. “Students moving into tertiary education through our programme have an opportunity to be mentored and supported by our researchers, with the potential of achieving postgraduate qualifications.”

This year, MedTech CoRE Vision Matauranga partner, Whanau Tahi is providing a prize for the two best essays submitted by the students on their perspective of the scientist they have got to know. The students are off to visit Victoria University of Wellington MedTech CoRE investigators at the Design School.