Inspiring the nation and next generation of space professionals

Published: 09 July 2021

MBIE is pleased to announce the allocation of funding for the development of online space educational resources and an interactive New Zealand in Space Exhibition.

The Science Learning Hub – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao has been awarded $150,000 to develop online space related learning materials, while Otago Museum has been awarded $350,000 to develop Tūhura Tuarangi – Aotearoa in Space Showcase.

Space science is a popular topic due to its presence in media but often struggles to present opportunities for direct involvement for people. In traditional space nations, the topic of space creates excitement and inspires interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. As a young space nation, Aotearoa New Zealand has only recently begun to develop space outreach activities highlighting the opportunities for space-related careers, which have to date seen a high level of engagement across the country, signalling student’s interests in this growing area.

Space science provides students with a range of opportunities to engage in discussion, raise questions, work collaboratively, and explore new concepts. The initiatives being developed by the Science Learning Hub – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao and Otago Museum are designed to showcase Aotearoa New Zealand space activities, increase access to space and science education, inspiring students towards careers in the industry.

The Science Learning Hub – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao promotes student interest and engagement in science by providing contemporary, contextualised resources for school teachers and students. It is a free, open access channel of information and communication designed to make contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand science and technology more accessible to teachers, school students, and the wider community. The resources developed as part of this initiative will accompany other material already available on the Science Learning Hub to provide a comprehensive Aotearoa New Zealand-relevant space and science learning resource.

Otago Museum were the successful applicant under the Aotearoa New Zealand in Space Call for Proposals and will develop and deliver the Tūhura Tuarangi – Aotearoa in Space Showcase. An overarching narrative for Tūhura Tuarangi will be one of discovering space and the opportunities it holds. Tūhura Tuarangi will not only showcase Aotearoa New Zealand space achievements but also their increasing relevance and how they apply to everyday life. It will also highlight the important and central role that mātauranga Māori have had in the understanding and discovery of space.

The exhibition, which will be completed in time to begin touring in 2022/23 will travel around the country displaying at regional centres and metropolitan areas, connecting kiwi kids and the wider community with space and providing an opportunity for hands on, inquiry-based learning. The kaupapa of Tūhura Tuarangi is to inspire students towards careers in the space industry and further uptake of STEM subjects.

Online science learning materials will be developed on the Science Learning Hub – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao and a dedicated webpage to Tūhura Tuarangi will be developed, which will keep the public up to date with roadshow dates, shared resources and sneak peaks to key stages in the showcase development.

Check out the learning materials on the Science Learning Hub(external link) – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao

Watch this space!

MBIE media contact

Email: media@mbie.govt.nz

Last updated: 09 July 2021