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Planting seeds to grow STEM

Planting seeds to grow STEM

  • 08 Mar 2020

The Auckland-based Good Seed Trust and the Pacific communities it works with is starting to reap the harvest of its hard work in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) space.

With a vision and mission to build thriving and stronger communities through strengthening families, the Trust runs numerous family group and after-school programmes aimed to help families reach their goals and potential.

It collected a Toloa Community Fund grant at last week's Northern Region Toloa Awards in Auckland, meaning the Trust can make a start on its vision for a STEM space with programmes in Mangere, Good Seed Trust Manager Aioi Iona-Fruean says. 

“This will not only be for children, but the whole family – it will enable us to strengthen Pacific families in the area of Information Technology,” she says. 

The Trust facilitates a Leaders in Training programme for up to 90 youth, which is especially focused on developing the STEM and creative aspirations of the youth.

It also runs the Raspberry Pi project, which shows children how to use a device to teach coding and provides them the opportunity to build their own custom projects, assisting them in developing their knowledge and capability in the STEM areas.

Of Samoan heritage, Aioi oversees overseeing the youth after-school, holiday and leadership programmes for young people aged five to 18.

“At Good Seeds Trust, our mission is to strengthen families, providing support and education for children and their families, promoting programmes and activities that enhance parenting skills, family health and well-being of children. 

“So far we are achieving these goals - we are blessed we meet new families every day and we get given opportunities to help these multicultural families in our community.” 

Good Seeds Trust plans to use the Toloa Community Fund grant to provide Raspberry Pi devices to students and continue exposing children to different opportunities in the digital world, while building on their knowledge from school. 

The Trust was one of five community groups to receive a Toloa Community Fund grant at the Northern Region Toloa Awards.  

Ten Pacific students also received a Toloa Tertiary Scholarship at the ceremony. 

The Toloa Programme encourages Pacific students to pursue studies in STEM subjects, with the aim of increasing the number of Pacific peoples employed in STEM careers.  

To reach key Pacific audiences simultaneously, the Toloa Programme delivers to three key strands, including the Toloa Community Fund, Toloa Tertiary Scholarships and Toloa Kenese.