Our mission is to accelerate and increase Pacific people’s participation in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). We show young people the value of science skills and highlight career pathways through collaboration with local STEAM businesses, researchers and engineers.

Our vision is for Pasifika students to be leaders in STEAM and to build the capacity of Pacific STEAM in west Auckland and beyond. We champion education and innovation through community-focused, project-based learning.

WeSTEM is an initiative of Te Hononga Akoranga COMET and is funded by the Ministry of Pacific People’s Toloa Community Impact funds.

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

Thanks to MPP’s support, we can offer two streams of project funding:

Pico Projects  #

Short term (8-12 week-long) projects can receive funding of $4,000 exc GST.

This is a great option for groups wanting to ‘dip their toes’ into community STEAM research and conduct a well-defined, short-term project.

Science in Action Projects #

Longer term (up to ~6 months-long) projects can receive funding of up to $10,000 exc GST.

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While these longer-term projects require more commitment and resources, they can be a valuable way to support your community to tackle a more substantive science question or technological problem.

Anyone in the west Auckland local board areas can apply for project funding. We can support you to connect with educators, STEAM experts and community partners in your area.

Not based in west Auckland? Te Hononga Akoranga COMET also runs the Curious Minds participatory science platform in south Auckland. The platform offers similar project-based learning opportunities. Find out about Curious Minds South Auckland here.


We support research projects that are:

  • Growing the capacity of Pasifika STEAM – projects must involve primarily Pasifika students or community participants and/or be relevant to Pasifika cultures and communities.
  • Community-driven – projects 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 offer enduring educational value for the young people involved and two-way learning between the wider community and science partners.

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

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Funding for short-term WeSTEM Pico Projects is available at any time – just get in touch to find out more about the funding criteria and to receive a funding application form. Project funding is limited, so get your application in early for the best chances of being funded.

WeSTEM Science in Action applications are assessed in two funding rounds throughout the year. Deadlines for applications are:

Round 1: 11 April | Round 2: 15 May

Get in touch with the Te Hononga Akoranga COMET STEAM team today to find out more!

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


Sneh Patel is the Project Manager for WeSTEM. She can answer any questions about your STEAM project idea.

09 307 2101

Our Supporters #