Date announced for STEMFest 2023

STEMFest 2022. Photo: Supplied.

New Zealand's largest free science, technology, engineering, and mathematics festival is returning for 2023.

Since 2018 STEMFest has been nurturing the Bay of Plenty region's next generation of problem-solvers, innovators and leaders and this year the interactive festival is set to break new ground when it launches in October.

Founder Tia Lush says the festival has even bigger goals for 2023.

'Over the past six years we have been rapidly growing the festival with more and more offerings to inspire and engage our young people and their families.

"This year we are excited to be working on an even bigger festival that will showcase the opportunities and latest advancements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Tia says the festival plays a vital role in engaging young people in critical sectors of our economy and by doing so helps address the predicted future skills shortage.

'There is a global shortage of people becoming scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians. This will ultimately result in a shortage of future problem solvers.

"STEMFest aims to address this by inspiring, empowering and nurturing a new generation of young people in these fields.”

With over 10,000 free tickets issued last year, STEMFest 2023 is looking forward to breaking new attendance records.

'Each year we have seen an increasing number of families from Auckland, Waikato and across the North and South Island come to attend STEMFest.

"This year, from the interest we have already had to date, we are excited. Ultimately our vision is to become the ‘Field days of STEM' and in doing so really shine a light on vital career paths by engaging our future problem solvers in some amazing and fun hands-on experiments.”

Billed as a blockbuster interactive event for all ages, STEMFest 2023 will take place on Sunday October 1.

With an already strong STEM knowledge base in the Bay of Plenty region, the festival will showcase this with an exciting line-up of exhibitors and interactive elements, including animal dissections, rockets, robotics, smoothie bikes, fossils, building activities and much more.

With its aim to bolster the STEM sector, this year's festival has also attracted some heavy-hitting support from headline sponsor Manawa Energy, alongside local business pillars Zespri, Ballance and Sharp Tudhope.

Manawa Energy Communications and Community Engagement Advisor Annie Tangata says it's a natural and important fit for them to support STEMFest.

'You can't be what you can't see. For us at Manawa Energy, STEMFest is about showcasing some of the awesome opportunities out there in the world of STEM and renewable energy. We're stoked to be back again this year for the biggest STEMFest yet.”

Zespri has been a part of the festival since 2019, backing STEM Wana's ambition to inspire the next generation of innovators and sharing delicious nutritious kiwifruit for a day's learning, experimenting and discovery.

'It's great to take part in such an engaging and educational community event and be involved in our local STEM community to sustain and grow its future, something that we can all benefit from.” says Assistant Innovation Specialist Brooke Maddison.

The event is also supported by Tourism Bay of Plenty, the University of Waikato and TECT who all see it as a vital event for the region.

Tia says STEMFest is purposefully scheduled for the second weekend of the October school holidays allowing out of town families to also attend.

'What a great way for families to combine a holiday break in our beautiful region with some engaging and highly interactive fun and learning at STEMFest.

"We can't wait to gather New Zealand's future problem solvers together for some hands-on experiments and a celebration of STEM.”

Prior to STEMFest the organisation continues to promote awareness of opportunities in STEM to young people and their families through community events, collaborations, and meaningful partnerships with STEM in the Community activations run by STEM Wana Trust, including an outreach programme for schools in the Bay of Plenty area.

Free tickets for STEMFest are being released from today June 20. Sign up on the website to receive information and ticket release announcements.


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