“Best organised & most informative free event I’ve ever taken my kids to!”

Vicky McGreal – Visitor (Facebook 03 October 2022)

The anticipation for the second award winning STEMFest was high, well before the big day, with tickets ‘sold out’ a week in advance.

Sunday the 2nd of October 2022 started off cloudy, but as the preparations for the street closure of Durham Street commenced in the early hours of the morning, the clouds slowly started to dissipate and by 10am it looked like even the sun wanted to join in on the celebrations.

As soon as visitors entered Durham Street they were greeted with hands-on activities and experiments to explore. The street was lined with a selection of underwater robots; catapult making; e-vehicles showcase; drones; giant bubble making; an airplane; a 13m bridge walkway which visitors had to help engineer and build; a shark dissection; face painting; a 5m rocket, and smoothie bikes.

As well as the street exhibitors, sponsors Basestation and University of Waikato opened their doors to their buildings and visitors could explore and take part in computing; robotics; engineering; science labs and experiments; a Space Zone featuring a walk-in planetarium; Ask a NASA astronaut screenings; bugs and insects; wildlife, and so much more!

Headline sponsor Manawa Energy and their team of engineers showcased Renewable Energy Racers, Elver Elevator, and Hydrology with large scale exhibits which wowed visitors and educated at the same time about the importance of sustainability, a key theme running throughout the festival.

STEMFest Founder Tia Lush says: “After an extremely challenging and disappointing couple of years not being able to deliver large scale events, our team were so excited to finally be able to deliver the festival. To see thousands gather on Durham Street was extremely satisfying and emotional. We were delighted to be able to bring together New Zealand’s future problem solvers together for some hands-on experiments in a true celebration of STEM. We’ve had reports of our youngest visitor being 3 weeks old and at the other end of the age range a 93 year old. Proof that STEM is for everyone regardless of age!

None of this would be possible without the support of the STEM industry leaders, some of whom are based in the Bay of Plenty region. We are so grateful for the support of our gigabyte sponsors Zespri, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Beca, Lawvu, Xero, and the University of Waikato.”

STEMFest is totally free to attend and this is made possible by sponsorship and funding. This year STEMFest received funding from the Regional Events Fund which is being overseen by Tourism Bay of Plenty as well as support from the newly created Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund which is a collaboration between Acorn Foundation, Bay Trust, Tauranga City Council, TECT Community Trust and Western Bay of Plenty District Council.

The organisers, STEM Wana Trust are still collating the final numbers, but it’s safe to say that approximately 5,000 people took to the CBD for the highly anticipated return of the biggest STEM Festival in the southern hemisphere.

STEM Wana Trust doesn’t plan to stop there. Plans are already underway for more family friendly events for the summer school holidays. If you missed out on a ticket you need to subscribe to the mailing list at stemfest.nz to get all the latest and exclusive event news.

This is amazing we have absolutely loved today. Just can’t get over it. It’s been mind blowing. Thank you!

Feedback captured by a volunteer at the end of the day on exit.

Official highlights

Please credit: Tauranga STEM Festival (STEMFest)

Tia Lush, STEM Wana Trust
Please follow @stemfestnz on all the social media channels for more information.


STEMFest 2022 took take place Sunday 2nd October from 10-4pm in Durham Street, Tauranga.

The inaugural Tauranga STEM Festival (STEMFest) in 2019 attracted 3,500 visitors from across New Zealand. The event also scooped the TECT Community Awards for Event Excellence for its innovation and creativity.