Why New Zealand kids need to know about STEM?
Q&A with the Mind Lab @MOTAT team
We asked Emma Grobart, EdTech Educator at The Mind Lab @ MOTAT 10 questions about STEM and why it’s important for kiwi kids. Emma explains how you can encourage your children to be inspired and passionate about STEM, and what kids get up to at The Mind Lab @ MOTAT school holidya workshops.
1. What is STEM? Why is it sometimes also called STEAM?
STEM is the focus of the four disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The additional “A” stands for the Arts. It has been added to acknowledge that the more technical aspects of STEM cannot thrive without the creativity and innovation that the arts bring into the equation.
2. Why is STEM so important for New Zealand kids?
STEM and the arts are important for New Zealand kids as it focuses on related concepts that can be used within solving real world problems.
3. From what age should you encourage your child’s interest in STEM?
We believe that it is never to early or late to encourage your child’s interest within STEM.
4. What is the The Mind Lab at MOTAT?
The Mind Lab was established in 2013 to help with a growing concern that our younger generation coming through the current school system at the time, would be left behind when it came to the digital realm. Our education program is based around collaborative learning that is relevant to real world challenges.
In April 2018, The Mind Lab entered into a partnership with MOTAT and moved their popular education programmes from Newmarket to the Museum. They now run their popular Tech Toolbox, school and holiday programmes from a purpose-built facility at MOTAT’s Great North Road site. The new location includes flexible teaching areas, labs and creative reflection zones.
MOTAT and The Mind Lab share a natural synergy. As an interactive museum, MOTAT focuses on Kiwi ingenuity, and educating and inspiring the next generation. The Museum plays a valuable role in providing learning experiences outside of the classroom (LEOTC) which broaden and deepen curriculum understanding for more than 25,000 Auckland students each year.
5. What can kids do and learn at The Mind Lab’s school holiday workshops at MOTAT?
The Mind Lab offers a range of full-day school holiday camps for your 7 to 12 year olds, all of which nurture their boundless and unwavering curiosity! Whether it’s their first session or their fiftieth, they’ll be faced with new, engaging challenges in a supportive, encouraging environment. Each action-packed full-day workshop covers two future-focused topics.
6. How do you get kids inspired and excited about STEM in your workshops?
Some of our core values at The Mind Lab are learning by doing, learning through failure and collaboration. We believe that these values inspire kids become resilient learners, who are confident to take on any challenges that come their way.
7. Which workshops do children enjoy the most at The Mind Lab?
We have a wide range of topics that we offer for our school holiday workshops such as electronic engineering, coding, robotics, 3D Design, animation, and much more. We always try to pair a more technical, computer based lesson with a hands-on creative one to allow children to cultivate their existing interests and discover new ones.
8. Who are the teachers at The Mind Lab holiday workshops at MOTAT?
The Mind Lab at MOTAT is headed up by National Technologist, Damon Kahi and Kensa Randle and I are the EdTech Educators who are all involved in the holiday workshops.
9. Why did you become an educator at The Mind Lab?
We are all passionate about nurturing innovation, creativity, and sustainable ideas within the next generation, and we believe the values and philosophy at The Mind Lab at MOTAT allow us to do just that.
10. For parents that can’t afford to send their children to your holiday workshops, where can parents find out STEM activities that their kids can do at home?
The Mind Lab Kids is a great resource for you and your children to start using to create some fun STEM based DIY projects at home.
You can find out more about The Mind Lab @ MOTAT’s school holiday workshops here: https://www.motat.org.nz/learn/the-mind-lab-at-motat/