New STEM-TEC Centre to improve students entrepreneurial skills

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

The country's first Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Centre at tertiary level was opened today at Auckland University of Technology. Its focus is to improve the entrepreneurial skills of students, particularly Māori students.

Ngāpuhi’s Aiden Ferguson-Rudolph explains, “Places like STEM-TEC will be important for Māori in the future, especially how they are going to integrate with high-school, just keeping people engaged, young Māori student engaged.”

Technology is inevitably a part of our daily lives, and Minister Steven Joyce says it's the way forward.

"The future of NZ is in a high tech innovative space, and to do that you need enough graduates and skilled people to understand the technology, understand the engineering, maths and sciences."

Aiden says there's a stigma attached to subjects like science and maths, and that could be the reason for the disinterest from Māori.

He says, "A lot of people label these kinds of subjects as nerdy and geeky but it's not like that.  It's a whole lot of fun and when you get into it, get involved, it's awesome."

So with this new centre, the hope is that more Māori will engage into these career pathways.