In late March MOTAT played host to a who’s who list of movers and shakers in Aotearoa’s science and technology world.
Held in the Lower Innovation Hall, the occasion was the official launch of the new science and technology experience project in Building 5. It was also a call to action to attendees, including the MOTAT Team, to support and nurture the project in whatever way they could.
Special guests included: David Downs, Chairman of the NZ Hi-Tech Trust and former MOTAT Board Member; Dame Juliet Gerrard, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor; Dr Michelle Dickinson, Co-Founder of Nanogirl Labs; Hayden Moore, Maker Space Coordinator, University of Auckland; and Dr Nick Waipara, Science Group Co Leader Plant and Food Research and current Board Member.
After a stirring provocation from story teller Pita Turei, Ngai Tai ki Tāmaki, Ngati Pāoa, the panel of guests took on the issue of how to get our young people fired up and invested in science, technology, engineering and maths.
A lively discussion followed, but there was general agreement the new centre will fill a gap in providing a pathway to get young people involved in STEMM in a hands-on, minds-on way.
Illustrator Dave Leigh captured the discussion in real time.
GM Museum Experience Sally Manuireva said the event was a tremendous success with guests highly engaged in MOTAT's vision for the centre – many were reluctant to leave, staying well after the panel discussion to mix and mingle.
"Thank you to everyone involved for their mahi to make the event run smoothly and guests feel welcomed – many mentioned the great manaakitanga they experienced."
Attendees were handed a manuka seed tin on departure. The seeds are a metaphor for the science and technology centre – both need nurturing to grow.
Work on Building 5 begins on Monday 3 April with a blessing in the Lower Innovation Hall to acknowledge the mahi and exhibitions taken place in the venue over the years.
There will be no access for visitors to the building while it is under development until the new centre opens in April 2024. Please refer to the dedicated webpage for further information.
For more information, to arrange a visit or to request images, please contact Nicole Parish, Senior Communications Advisor
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