Marsden Year 11 students Trinity Hunt and Grace Kerr have been selected from over 150 applicants to attend this year’s Innovative Young Minds (IYM) programme in Upper Hutt. IYM was established by Hutt City Council and Rotary Hutt City to change the way young women view careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
“We are going to need fresh thinking and innovative ideas to tackle the challenges of the 21st century,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a video on the IYM website. “To make progress on global issues like climate change we need to inspire talented people to invent new ways of working, living, travelling and making things. And to build a better future the next generation of scientist, engineers and technicians needs to better reflect our diverse society. So that’s why it’s really important that we encourage more young women and girls to get involved in science and technology.”
During the week long programme Grace and Trinity will travel to a variety of science and technology businesses, research institutes and tertiary education providers in the Wellington region to experience hands-on science and tech activities and hear first-hand from women who have built careers in the sector. Grace said, “I hope to develop a more in-depth understanding of STEM careers and opportunities as well as to connect with other girls passionate about STEM. I am grateful for the chance to step outside my comfort zone and build my confidence when faced with a challenge. “
According to the programme website it is only open to young women because females are under-represented in the STEM sector and they want to change that. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern agrees, “I know New Zealand is home to lots of brilliant and passionate young women because I’ve met many of them during my time as a member of parliament. I really encourage these young women to get involved in STEM whether that’s at school, university or through programmes like Innovative Young Minds so they can help solve the next big issues and invent technologies we can’t even imagine and create a more sustainable future.”
We look forward to hearing from Trinity and Grace about their experience and seeing what they are inspired to do next.