Free Event Will Take Place on Saturday 12 October, 2019


TAURANGA, NZ — 21 JANUARY, 2019 — Tauranga’s first-ever Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Festival will be held on Saturday 12th October, 2019.   The festival, which is free to attend, encompasses a series of STEM activities and events aimed at children, younger people, and families.

The plans include the closure of a whole block of Durham Street (from Elizabeth St. to Spring St.) in the CBD for a street festival that will allow for drones, virtual reality, augmented reality, messy science experiments, large-scale engineering exhibits, the latest technology, and engineering demonstrations.  Among the activities are an interactive treasure hunt in downtown Tauranga, practical coding sessions, demonstrations, inspirational presentations from STEM enthusiasts and professionals in all areas of industry, and a show-and-tell area/marketplace for all the latest gadgets. Additional events and activities will be held in September and early October.

A team of parents who work in STEM are organising the event through a charitable Trust, with support from Tauranga City Council.  According to founder Tia Lush, “We want to inspire children and young people to become tomorrow’s innovators in science, technology, engineering, and maths.  The festival will be the first event of its kind specially designed as a celebration to engage and inspire the whole whānau and community through hands-on activities.

We are delighted to announce the main sponsors for STEMFest 2019 as Beca Group and the University of Waikato. These two organisations represent the thriving STEM industry, education, and innovations in the Bay of Plenty, and we are excited to be working with these industry leaders to make this ambitious event a reality.”


“STEMFEST in Tauranga is a great opportunity for us to showcase our commitment to the region and the role we see ourselves playing in the STEM space. We need to keep promoting the message that STEM is important but equally that it is an area that is fun to study”.

Geoff Holmes, Pro Vice Chancellor (Division of Health, Engineering, Computing and Science) University of Waikato.

Contributors include supporting sponsors such as Zespri, Trustpower, Think, Stratus Blue, Arataki Systems, Venture Centre, and Downtown Tauranga, with other activities from national and international STEM organisations such AECOM Engineering and the Mathscraft team from Christchurch.  Representatives will address a range subjects, from mathematics to astrophysics, to coding, spacecraft engineering, geo engineering, marine science, and biosecurity to name a few. There will be a special emphasis on celebrating women in STEM, encouraging girls, and diversity within STEM.

The festival team are in talks to feature a special appearance from Dr. Michelle Dickinson aka Nanogirl, founder of Nanogirl Labs.  Dr. Dickinson has developed new exciting bilingual show Mātātoa, that explores Maori myths and legends through interactive science experiments.

The organisers are also appealing to companies of all sizes in the Bay of Plenty and beyond to get involved and support this unique community event. Sponsorship opportunities are available at all budgets and levels. Companies and organisations wishing to take part or sponsor the STEM Festival should email or visit for more information.


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For all media queries, please contact:

Tia Lush – Founder and Project Lead –


Notes to editor

Organisations and specialists continue to sign up to participate in STEMFest but those who have confirmed to date include:


  • Beca
  • University of Waikato
  • Zespri
  • Trustpower
  • Think
  • Stratus Blue
  • Cucumber
  • Basestation
  • Venture Centre
  • Tauranga City Council
  • ACG Tauranga
  • Downtown Tauranga
  • Arataki Systems
  • AECOM Engineering
  • Mathscraft
  • Te Puke High School


About STEM Wana Trust

A not-for-profit organisation working to promote awareness of opportunities in STEM to young people and their families through community events, collaborations and meaningful partnerships. STEMFest Tauranga 2019 will be the first event in the Trust’s portfolio of community based projects.

About the organisers

A team of volunteer based parents and professionals working in the technology, education and project management sectors. Passionate about knowledge sharing and community based engagement and getting our young people inspired and enthused about STEM.