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Unitec’s The Mind Lab and MOTAT join forces to empower Kiwis in STEM

By Kai Ping Lew
Tue 13 Feb 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Digital and collaborative learning institution The Mind Lab by Unitec is partnering with the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) to move their popular education programmes from their current Newmarket site to MOTAT’s premises in Western Springs. 

From April 2018, the award-winning learning specialists from The Mind Lab will run their popular Tech Toolbox, school and holiday programmes from a purpose-built facility at MOTAT’s Great North Road site in central Auckland.

The new location at MOTAT will include flexible teaching areas, labs and creative reflection zones.

Frances Valintine, a strong advocate for transformational change and chair and founder of The Mind Lab by Unitec, says, “Over the past four and a half years our Carlton Gore site has become an icon. More than 40,000 students have learnt how to create, code, invent, test and build solutions using problem-based learning and technology in our lab.

“This new partnership with MOTAT is the start of a new era for Auckland students who will experience the best of both worlds - MOTAT’s immersive learning environment combined with the hi-tech digital world of The Mind Lab by Unitec.”

MOTAT and The Mind Lab share a natural synergy.

As an interactive museum, MOTAT focuses on Kiwi ingenuity and educating and inspiring the next generation.

The Museum plays a valuable role in providing learning experiences outside of the classroom (LEOTC) which broaden and deepen curriculum understanding for more than 25,000 Auckland students each year.

The MOTAT education team will continue to deliver programmes that use collection items and in-house subject expertise to cover topics from the Social Sciences, Science and Technology curriculum.

MOTAT museum director and chief executive Michael Frawley says the agreement with The Mind Lab by Unitec creates a unique new offering for schools and strengthens MOTAT’s leadership in creative technology education.

He says, “We are delighted to finalise this three-year partnership of like-minded institutions who share the vision of inspiring young New Zealanders to innovate and create. With the option to combine courses from The Mind Lab by Unitec with our regular LEOTC programmes or a Museum visit, schools can now build a truly memorable learning experience. It’s a very exciting time for education at MOTAT.”

Recognised as a New Zealand education providers in Science, Technology and Engineering, The Mind Lab by Unitec will continue to operate their other regional locations around New Zealand for their postgraduate certificate in digital and collaborative learning, including running evening sessions at sister company Tech Futures Lab at 22 McColl Street, Newmarket, and their dedicated student lab in Gisborne.

All programmes are designed to enhance digital literacy capability and the implementation of contemporary practice in the teaching profession through hands-on learning.

The expert EdTech Educators from The Mind Lab by Unitec’s team will make the move to the Museum during March while MOTAT’s experienced booking team will support the operation by managing enrolments from the start of Term 2 onwards.

The Mind Lab by Unitec at MOTAT launches its school group programmes in April.

Holiday programmes commence Monday, April 16 and the first Tech Toolbox intake for 2018 will start on Wednesday evening, March 21 in the new Western Springs facility. 

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