Meet the Team

Project Team

Tia Lush - Tauranga STEM Festival

Tia Lush – Founder

STEMFest has been founded by Tia Lush. A graphic designer and technologist with a passion for inspiring young people and their families through shared learning experiences.

In 2016, Tia founded and co-organised the first ever (and subsequent) STEM festivals in the City of Peterborough, UK. The Peterborough STEM Festival is now in its third successful year and continues to grow in impact and strength, welcoming 600 visitors in the first year to over 3,000 visitors in the third year.

Tia immigrated to NZ with her family (comprising of a kiwi husband, teenage daughter and younger son) in 2017 and settled on the sunny shores of Tauranga and not looked back since.

When she’s not organising STEM festivals, Tia loves working with companies and individuals on creating  brand identity and design projects. Visit www.whoatemycrayons.com for all things design related.

You can read more about Tia’s story from Peterborough to Tauranga.

Alyssa Minshall – Project Lead

Alyssa Minshall worked in corporate anthropology before moving into the entrepreneurial world. In 2010 she founded her first award winning business, a toy company that sells internationally. She has spent the last decade in the toy industry, as well as working within the entrepreneurial sector as an entrepreneurial advisor. In 2020, Alyssa enthusiastically joined STEM Wana Trust and their mission to bring STEM to the people.

Alyssa is a self-confessed “STEMFanatic”, with her favorites being astronomy and evolutionary biology. She is an extremely proud alum of Space Academy (mission pilot), took just about every intro course to every science offered at university (entomology did not help rid the fear of mantises) and listens to way too many science podcasts.

A born and raised Southerner, Alyssa and Kiwi hubby, Robbie, began their family in her home state of North Carolina. They share a daughter, Charlie Carolina, and son, Indie Sol. After a decade of raising their children in the States, this ‘Southern by Southern Hemisphere’ family relocated to Tauranga where Robbie’s brothers and parents all reside. They have dived right into the BOP lifestyle; spending lots of time on the water, hiking the mount and walking their dogs (a well behaved dog named Mr. Gibbs and his rotten offspring that sometimes responds to the name Radar).