The New Zealand Science and Technology Promotion Fund supports creative and innovative activities that help promote positive attitudes towards science and technology. It has a particular emphasis on communities that have low levels of awareness. Funding comes from the New Zealand Government, through the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, and the fund is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand. The "E ruia mai project" hosted two science and technology awareness camps (called wananga). These wananga were specifically for Maori who are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, with an emphasis placed on cultural-based principles associated with Maori language, customary practices and traditional values. The wananga were held at a Maori educational facility, this was pivotal to its success because Maori felt comfortable being in their own culturally safe environment. There was also an acceptance by Maori, knowing that the organisers were senior Maori post-graduate science students from the University of Otago. The students also presented their own research, and talked about study, awards, research and support networks within the wider scientific communities. The participants were involved in small research projects all based around issues that affect Maori, such as language and cultural conservation. These projects were also designed to highlight the benefits of scientific research and knowledge, using technological tools and methodologies. This paper presents the processes involved in developing the project, it overviews the highlights, outcomes and issues then looks at future directions that similar type projects can follow.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Planting the seeds of science and technology within a Maori community

Mark Laws   Auckland University of Technology

The New Zealand Science and Technology Promotion Fund supports creative and innovative activities that help promote positive attitudes towards science and technology. It has a particular emphasis on communities that have low levels of awareness. Funding comes from the New Zealand Government, through the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, and the fund is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand. The "E ruia mai project" hosted two science and technology awareness camps (called wananga). These wananga were specifically for Maori who are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, with an emphasis placed on cultural-based principles associated with Maori language, customary practices and traditional values. The wananga were held at a Maori educational facility, this was pivotal to its success because Maori felt comfortable being in their own culturally safe environment. There was also an acceptance by Maori, knowing that the organisers were senior Maori post-graduate science students from the University of Otago. The students also presented their own research, and talked about study, awards, research and support networks within the wider scientific communities. The participants were involved in small research projects all based around issues that affect Maori, such as language and cultural conservation. These projects were also designed to highlight the benefits of scientific research and knowledge, using technological tools and methodologies. This paper presents the processes involved in developing the project, it overviews the highlights, outcomes and issues then looks at future directions that similar type projects can follow.

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