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Our goal and actions

What we are doing towards our ten-year goal for better engagement between science, technology and society.

Curious Minds is a New Zealand Government initiative underpinned by a national strategic plan for 'science in society' called A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara.

The plan announces the Government's main objective to encourage and support all New Zealanders to engage with science and technology.

We have our sights set on reaching this goal by 2024 - ten years after the plan's publication in July 2014.

How can we achieve this goal?

The plan outlines three action areas along with a fourth action area - the Participatory Science Platform - that pulls all the other three together.

All the initiatives running under Curious Minds - from the new projects we fund to the existing long-term programmes we continue to support - contribute towards the main objective through sharing the value of science and technology by working with communities, businesses and educators.

In 2018, we launched a new Ambassadorship programme to further weave together the three action areas. The ambassadors have all been involved in Participatory Science Platform or Unlocking Curious Minds-funded projects and are available on request to any groups or communities in Aotearoa New Zealand who would like to learn more about running science and technology related activities.

How do we know if these actions are working?

The plan details how these actions will be monitored and evaluated throughout their initiation and continuation.

It also identifies what outcomes we should expect to see over the ten years if we are making progress towards achieving the main objective:

  • more science and technology-competent learners, and more choosing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related career pathways;
  • a more scientifically and technologically engaged public and a more publicly engaged science sector;
  • a more skilled workforce and more responsive science and technology.

Our actions:

Scientists and locals collaborating around a table

Participatory Science Platform

The Participatory Science Platform supports collaborative projects that bring together communities and scientists or technologists on research investigating a locally-important question or problem.

Find out more