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IYM Online 2021

Innovative Young Minds (IYM) offers young women in years 11 and 12 the opportunity to learn about the wide range of research and career opportunities available in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and high-tech manufacturing). IYM seeks to encourage diversity in New Zealand’s science and technology industry by inspiring a new generation of innovators and industry leaders.

When Covid-19 arrived last year, it changed everything for IYM. We were unable to run our normal residential programmes and in response, IYM Online was born. Delivered virtually via Zoom and Google Classroom, the programme exposed participants to inspiring science and technology content through a range of different virtual experiences. IYM Online was hugely successful demonstrating there was a strong demand for an accessible online programme.

This year, IYM Online 2021 with Chorus – 2021 took place in the first week of the April school holidays and we were delighted to deliver an engaging programme to nearly 100 young women from all over New Zealand. IYM strives to make our programmes as accessible as possible, and the high level of engagement from participants showed we reached our goal of inspiring young women to explore a future in STEMM.

Our numbers

  • 173 applications for the programme.

  • 96 Year 11 and 12 young women took part.

  • 99% of participants were satisfied with the programme.

  • 99% said the programme increased their interest in pursuing a STEMM career.

  • 99% would recommend the programme to a friend.

  • 46% came from ethnic minorities in science and technology.

  • 55 high schools were represented from all over New Zealand.

  • 38 contributors from 28 STEMM organisations.

Our Programme

IYM Online 2021 included the following incredible experiences:

  • Keynote address from Dr Sabine Bellstedt, Research Associate, International Centre of Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and Hari Mogoșanu, Executive Director, New Zealand Astrobiology Network (NZAN) exploring the journey of the universe and the origins of life on earth.

  • NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) presentation covering climate modelling, Antarctic oceanography and marine ecology.

  • Career panel with speakers from Bioethics Education, Callaghan Innovation and SSS – IT Security Specialists, and Laurie Winkless, Physicist and Science Communicator.

  • Research showcase and virtual lab tours with staff and students from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Science.

  • Innovation and entrepreneurship session with the founders of Eight360 and Spiral Software, and GNS Science’s Commercialisation Advisor.

  • Interactive GIS session creating data-based maps with Lauren McArtney from Eagle Technology. Q+A with Audrea Topps Harjo from A44 Games on her experience in the creative technology industry.

  • Innovation Challenge where student teams designed and pitched innovative renewable energy solutions to judges from Chorus, FMG and FNZ.

IYM’s goal is to make STEMM accessible to young women from diverse backgrounds. Our contributors and sponsors believe in encouraging our participants to be the best they can be, and are committed to creating an innovative future workforce in the science and technology sector. We are excited about the future and making an impact on more young women around New Zealand. With support from our contributors, sponsors and alumnae, we look forward to growing our IYM whānau and continuing to make a difference.

“Chorus is proud to sponsor the IYM Online programme to inspire young women to explore the opportunities and possibilities of careers in the STEMM field. We wish all the participants every success in their chosen paths.” Kim Culpan, Head of Organisational Development, Chorus


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