STEM Academy

Do you have a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics?  If yes, then the STEM Academy is for you.

The STEM Academy offers students with a passion in one of these areas, the opportunity to work with an external consultant/mentor, who currently works in this field. By working with a mentor who shares their passion, students will be provided with the opportunity to discover, explore and create, as well as develop the skills needed to pursue possible future career options.

As part of the STEM Academy students will participate in the Royal Society CREST program. CREST is an international awards scheme designed to encourage students to be more innovative, creative, and to problem solve in STEM areas.  Students come up with an idea to investigate, or a problem to solve, and then work on their project alongside their mentors.  They then present their work for assessment by the end of each year.  Student projects are presented at the local Palmerston North East Kāhui Ako STEM festival. 

Another part of the program is the opportunity to be involved in various regional and national competitions related to different areas of STEM.

Students who join the STEM Academy must be self-motivated, able to work independently, and self-manage. They are likely to have already participated in competitions such as the Tournament of Minds, Vex Robotics, Science Fair, EPro8, or other similar activities.

Application Process:

Students who wish to apply need to indicate their interest by ticking the STEM academy box when enrolling at FHS.

They should also attach a short narrative, describing why they would like to join, explaining:

  • what activities they have been involved in,
  • what areas of STEM they are really interested in,
  • an example of where they have shown good self-management skills in the past. 

Once applications have been received, whānau will be contacted by email in the middle of Term 4, with information about interviews.

Students and whānau will be expected to attend a short interview of about 20 minutes.

After all interviews have been completed, notification will be sent out by email stating whether the application has been successful or not.

Mairi Borthwick - HOD Science, STEM Academy director


The STEM Academy requires students to commit to attending a meeting once a week during term time, and meeting regularly with their mentors during terms 2 and 3 afterschool. Students may also need to arrange their own transport to meet with mentors.

In order to complete their CREST project students will also need to commit to spending a lot of their own time completing their project.