News Centre

Toloa Pacific STEAM Challenge

Cadence Alenepi and Gwendolyn Brighouse (Year 12)

Our Toloa Scholarship recipients had the opportunity to attend the Toloa Pacific STEAM Challenge (a challenge amongst Secondary Schools). It was a 2-day event on Friday 20 May 2022 and Saturday 21 May 2022 where The Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Vaka, Toloa and Young Enterprise brought Pasifika students and Polynesian communities altogether at the MIT Pasifika Centre in Auckland.

The following recipients that attended the 2 day event were:

Cadence Alenepi, Cayleigh-Ann Ngapaku, Gwendolyn Brighouse, Jonarren Pulevaka, Kalolaine Taulisi, Layla Ngapaku, Marina Jones, Mya Tubu, Salavaaia Lusi Ulupoao, Stephen Puluno,Teresa Croker, Tevita Koloamatangi, and Yalaina Tubu.

The event was an innovation challenge where students used their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) skills to create a prototype solution to solve real-world problems that are impacting us in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The activities the students participated in were experimental, practical, hands-on and fun.

Throughout day one, the facilitators (who come from similar backgrounds to the participants and have experience in the STEAM pathways) encouraged and assisted the students through learning key employability skills such as team building, teamwork, confidence, problem solving and creative thinking through small activities and mini games. It created a comfortable and safe space where all the secondary schools’ students were able to build friendships, have fun and be able to “back each other up.”

The STEAM challenge allowed students to collaborate and develop their ideas to solve the challenges revolving around the elements of STEAM. Mentors and Pacific facilitators experienced with STEAM assisted students to build their ideas in preparation for the end of the day, where they would present their project. When it came to presenting at the end of the day, the potential between the students was evident through their ideas that were delivered through their projects. It not only displayed the different passions and strengths amongst students, but it helped students thrive in their education space. Overall, this STEAM challenge helped students recognise the different career paths in STEAM.

The Secondary Toloa scholarship recipients thank the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, as well as the facilitators that engaged and assisted the students. Specifically, Vaka, Toloa, Young Enterprise and the main facilitators; Andrea, TJ, Callum, Luke, Anna, Kate and Paul.

A very BIG appreciation and thanks to our teachers from our Sancta Maria community that took the time to give our Toloa recipients this opportunity, especially Mr Rimamate, Mrs Rogers and Ms Sullivan. Without their support, this experience would not have been as enjoyable and educational as it was.