Rockets, robots and sharks are preparing to take over Tauranga’s CBD as the world’s largest STEM street festival comes to town during the October school holidays – and free tickets are now available.
More than 50 exhibitors from all over Aotearoa will bring free, family-friendly fun to STEMFest, the Tauranga STEM Festival, on Sunday 2 October. The event has already confirmed more than 40 interactive activities and experiments aimed at engaging and inspiring a new generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.
More than 2,300 tickets were snapped up within the first 72 hours of being released, with a limited number of free tickets now remaining.
The inaugural STEMFest in 2019 attracted 3,500 visitors from across New Zealand. After the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, organiser the STEM Wana Trust hopes to attract 7,500 visitors in 2022.
STEM Wana Trust Founder Tia Lush says: “The exhibits and workshops are extremely exciting this year. We don’t want anyone to miss out on the fun. We’ve got everything from bioengineering to biosecurity, chemistry experiments to renewable energy investigations.
“Visitors can get behind the wheel of a space rover or a Grumman aircraft; build a bridge, a robot, or a fractal sculpture. They’ll be able to explore high-powered rockets, or the external and internal features of a shark. It’s a wonderful showcase of the vibrant and varied work that takes place in the STEM sector which will hopefully inspire our young visitors.
“This festival couldn’t be free without the support of our funders and sponsors who see the long-term benefits of strengthening our STEM workforce for the future: Our funders Tourism Bay of Plenty, TECT; Headline Sponsor Manawa Energy; and Gigabyte Sponsors: Xero, Beca, Zespri, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, LawVu, and University of Waikato.”
In addition, the five finalists of The Great InsectBot Mission Competition will have their InsectBots judged by a panel of experts at STEMFest for the chance to win an exclusive VIP tour of the Rocket Lab facilities.
The nationwide competition, inspired by NASA and supported by the US State Department, challenged students aged 10-16 to create an InsectBot capable of surviving on Mars.
Lush says: “We had more than 100 registrations from around the motu for this competition, highlighting some of the incredible innovative STEM minds we’ve got in our schools.”
STEMFest takes place on Tauranga’s Durham Street, Sunday 2 October.
Free tickets are available now at www.stemfest.nz