Tech partnership sees free STEM learning for low decile schools

Amazon Webservices, Intel and Education Perfect are among the technology companies teaming up to provide STEM subjects to low decile schools.

The Indigitech programme is a new initiative produced in collaboration with several tech companies. It recently began delivering free digital access to STEM learning for low decile intermediate schools. 

The programme is aimed at Māori and Pacific Island communities, who are underrepresented in technology and STEM fields. Only 4 percent of Māori and 2.8 percent of Pasifika are employed in digital technology roles. As with other industries, a lack of diversity in technology could lead to widening inequity for minority communities as digital infrastructure is designed and implemented. That’s why as well as STEM learning, the Indigitech programme will provide students with the tools to learn coding.  

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It has three key components:  

  • Free access to the digital Education Perfect (EP) curriculum including English, Math, Science, Te Reo Māori and Te Ao Māori topics.  
  • Free access to Code Avengers learning platform.  
  • Free access to microcredentials PLD programme for participating teachers. It contains guidance on engaging students with digital technology. 
  • Students access additional activities like AWS Deep Racer, which aim to inspire students around future technology careers. 

The launch follows a successful six-month pilot with two intermediate schools, and the latest iteration will see more than 5700 students and 270 teachers participate across the motu.  

Debbie Clarke, the regional manager of New Zealand for Education Perfect, said that “Indigitech is an exciting new initative that will drive greater awareness and understanding of technology within Māori and Pasifika communities.  

“Students within these communities lack consistent access to high-quality education and learning opportunities within technology, which can lead to low participation. Our goal is to provide free STEM learning opportunities for students by removing the cost barrier for low decile schools to better prepare students for jobs in technology.”  

Annabelle Bullock, deputy principal at Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate school in South Auckland with a majority Māori and Pacific roll, said that “Indigitech is giving students new learning opportunities, and the tools and knowledge to improve their digital competency and understanding of technology. 

“Education Perfect engages students through interactive learning experiences and personalised feedback across a range of curriculum areas, including Te Reo Māori, while Code Avengers offers a comprehensive yet culturally responsive coding curriculum, fostering hands-on practice and immediate feedback. The Indigitech programme is making a big impact already, enhancing student creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills through projects and challenges, while empowering teachers with insightful data analytics and reporting tools to make more informed teaching decisions.” 

The Indigitech programme will run to the end of the year with the current cohort of participating schools, and the next intake will begin in October 2023 with the aim of programme expansion in 2024.  

Naomii Seah

Naomii Seah is a writer and journalist from Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. She enjoys crochet, painting, and a coffee or two at the beach. Her work can be found at The Spinoff, The Pantograph Punch, Stuff, and of course, School News NZ.
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