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Over 40 projects funded for 2017


More than forty projects have been successfully awarded a total of $2 million in the 2017 Unlocking Curious Minds funding round.

Of the 41 community and youth focused projects funded for 2017, 27 are local to a single region and the remaining 14 are multi-region or national projects. 

The projects have been awarded a funding total of $2 million and their themes range from mātauranga Māori to maths through to marine science.

Some of the newly funded activities involve:

  • Creating short documentary films about Auckland's natural environment and screening them at a community event.

  • Exploring how to innovatively use harakeke (flax) in the Bay of Plenty by making a practical and sustainable product.

  • Designing a sustainable farm enterprise on an empty school field in the Wairarapa.

  • Making connections to the lands of Te Waipounamu through designing and using augmented reality.

  • Extracting chemicals from local mānuka trees, which work as natural weedkillers and antibacterials, and recording how these chemicals vary between mānuka trees growing in different parts of New Zealand.

  • Releasing titipounamu (rifleman) from Wainuiomata into Zealandia and making real-time observations of the birds to help keep an eye on their numbers.

Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith announced the news today at Zealandia.

"The Unlocking Curious Minds fund particularly focuses on projects that engage young New Zealanders who have fewer opportunities to be involved with science and technology," he said. "It’s about giving young Kiwis more choices." 

Talking to his hosts at Zealandia, he added, "I know that this is a labour of love for you all and, as an ordinary citizen who enjoys seeing our birds fly by, I thank you for all your efforts."

The Unlocking Curious Minds fund was first launched in 2015 and has already enabled almost 100 projects to connect communities with science and technology.

This year, successful applicants received up to $30,000 for local projects and up to $150,000 for regional or national projects.

Read the full list of successfully funded 2017 projects

Read the Minister's media release to see highlights of other funded projects.


Unlocking Curious Minds

Unlocking Curious Minds supports projects that excite and engage New Zealanders who have fewer opportunities to experience and connect with science and technology.

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