Curious Minds South Auckland

Our mission is to show young people the value of science skills and to highlight career pathways through collaboration with local STEAM businesses, researchers and engineers.

Our vision is for all south Auckland children to be leaders in science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and mātauranga Māori (STEAM). We champion STEAM education & innovation through community-focused, project-based learning.

Curious Minds South Auckland is an initiative of Te Hononga Akoranga COMET and the NZ Government’s Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara participatory science platform.

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We fund innovative projects that give south Auckland young people more opportunities to experience science and technology through hands-on activities and collaborative research.

Schools, kura, community groups and STEAM organisations can apply for up to $20,000 in funding to get a research project off the ground. We can support you to connect with educators, STEAM experts and community partners in your area.

Curious Minds South Auckland has been running since 2015 and has supported over 70 research projects so far. See some examples in our Annual Showcase.

Not based in south Auckland? In 2022, Te Hononga Akoranga COMET is launching a similar initiative in west Auckland focused especially on increasing STEAM engagement amongst Pacific Island students. Find out about WeSTEM and get in touch today if you’d like to know more.


Anyone can apply for Curious Minds funding. We are looking for research projects that are:

  • Community-driven – projects that are locally relevant and involve community members
  • Connected with the STEAM industry – project participants work collaboratively with STEAM professionals and practitioners, making the most of their local and technical knowledge to generate new scientific and/or technological outputs. We support all areas of STEAM, including kaupapa Māori and Pasifika-led research and mātauranga Māori. 
  • Educational – projects that offer enduring educational value for the young people involved and two-way learning between the wider community and science partners.

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If you’re a STEAM expert and are interested in supporting a Curious Minds South Auckland project, you can find out more here.

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Applications are assessed in multiple funding rounds throughout the year. Get your application in early for the best chances of being funded. Deadlines for applications in 2022 are:

Round 1: 25 February | Round 2: 25 March | Round 3: 15 April

Find out more in our Curious Minds South Auckland brochure (English or Te Reo Māori), or check out our Application How-To video, which explains the funding process in detail.

To get started, download the Expression of Interest document or get in touch with the Te Hononga Akoranga COMET STEAM team today!

I have a STEAM project idea & would like to know more


Ying Yang is the Project Manager for Curious Minds South Auckland. She will answer any questions about your STEAM project idea.

09 307 2101


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View our full showcase on Vimeo.

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COMET - Curious Minds