10 August, 2020
Entering into the university environment can be alienating for Māori and Pasifika students; connecting the students with researchers and with university communities that provide support has proven successful.
DiscoveryCamp alumna, Mariah McDonald (Ngāi Tahu, Tuahuriri), graduated with a degree in Engineering and she is now studying for her PhD in biomechanical engineering. She attended the camp in her final year of high school and said this allowed her to try out different things and helped her discover what she wanted to study. “Before doing DiscoveryCamp I knew that I liked maths and science but I didn’t even know what engineering was. And afterwards I knew for sure that was the career path I wanted to go down.”
Māori and Pasifika continue to be under-represented across science and technology in New Zealand, so DiscoveryCamp intervenes early. To help with the transition into education, high school students are given a valuable opportunity to become familiar with university life, by attending
lectures and living in residential halls.
“The fact that Māori and Pasfika students are underrepresented in education is a fault on society, it is not a fault on us. We are good enough to be doing this work and we should be doing it if we have a passion for it,” Mariah says.
Instead of feeling frustrated over these statistics, DiscoveryCamp alumnus, Eden Skipper (Ngāi Tahu), said he used this as motivation to achieve great things. After completing a Bachelor of Science with Statistics, Eden says he encourages high school students to not be afraid to go to university, even if they are only one of a few Māori and Pasifika students in their class.
August 22, 2019
Be brave and challenge the norm. Be proud of the fact that you are there, be proud of the fact that you are holding your whānau name.Eden DiscoveryCamp Alumnus
August 22, 2019
Before doing DiscoveryCamp I knew that I liked maths and science but I didn't even know what engineering was. And afterwards I knew for sure that's the career path I wanted to go downMariah DiscoveryCamp Alumnus