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Toloa Kenese Fund helps group to inspire the next generation of Pacific innovators

Toloa Kenese Fund helps group to inspire the next generation of Pacific innovators

  • 18 Apr 2021
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Creative STEM Pathways - Moana Innovative Learning is guiding the next generation of Pacific Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, Mathematicians, Makers, Architects and Designers to fulfil their dreams. 

Pasifika Engagement Advisor for the Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington Lionel Taito-Matamua is a Co-facilitator of innovative initiative, alongside Petone Groom.

Lionel is also the Founder of Creative Pathways pilot programme, which this project has stemmed from.

He explains Creative STEM Pathways - Moana Innovative Learning offers the opportunities for communities to interact with new technology and digital software through creative and interactive projects within their school curriculum.

“Utilising a Design approach, projects are designed with teachers to ensure students are engaging and learning objectives and standards are met,” Lionel says.

“Students, teachers and stakeholders are given the opportunity to experience 3D printing with the hope to create higher digital literacy skills for the next generation - helping to establish new generations of creative Scientist, Technologist, Engineers, Mathematicians, Makers, Architects and Designers.”

Creative STEM Pathways - Moana Innovative Learning recently received support from the Ministry for Pacific Peoples Toloa Kenese Fund at the Central Region Toloa Awards, staged in Wellington.

The Toloa Kenese Fund supports STEM providers to deliver targeted Pacific programmes and workshops with primary, intermediate, and secondary schools, students, and parents to create opportunities for engagement to raise awareness and increase Pacific uptake of STEM subjects.

Lionel says the target audience of Creative STEM Pathways - Moana Innovative Learning are high school students and teachers.

“We have in the past run workshops with kids as young as three years old, but for longer impact, high school students in Year 9-11 are our focus as we gain the opportunity to develop interest in students before they are restricted to subjects due to NCEA.

“The emphasis is on teachers, to empower them with new skills to help develop projects that are creative and engaging by utilising modern technology and software.

“As part of the Kenese fund, a big focus will be on Pasifika students and building interest and numbers in STEM based subjects.”  

An area Lionel and his team will focus on is low decile schools with high numbers of Pacific and Māori students.

“These schools – as we have experienced through our pilot programmes – allow us to provide students and teachers experiences and opportunities that generally schools cannot afford, have budgeted, nor have the facilities or have the expertise to provide our kids,” Lionel says.

“This allows us to provide the students skills that work in with the school curriculum and teachers new teaching tools.”  

Hosting Pasifika focused community events and outreach workshops allow the team to engage directly with people in a safe space they are comfortable in, he adds.

“This makes us more accessible, and our Pasifika people given the chance to experience and interact with new technology developed and facilitated by Pasifika people.”

Visit HERE for more information about the 3D Printing for Creative STEM Pathways event on May 24.

Toloa Awards – Central Region recipients

Toloa Tertiary Scholarships

Bree Aiono

Jovaan Mataroa

Kaline Masitabua

Shantay Micaiah Savea

Siana Whatarau

Toloa Community Fund

Amanaki STEM Academy

Atafu Tokelau Community Group Incorporated - Collab with OMG Tech (Pam Fergussion Charitable Trust)

Atamu EFKS Porirua Incorporated

Wellington Methodist Parish - Tongan Congregation

SDL Consultancy Limited

Papaioea Pasifika Community Trust

Toloa Kenese Fund

Yeehaa Events Ltd / Epro8 Challenge

Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) operating under the Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington (RTV)

Vaka Interactive

Visit the MPP website for more information on the Toloa Programme.