STEM Wana Trust was formed in January 2019 and became a registered charity in March 2019.

Its core mission is to engage and inspire a new generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians (STEM) through creative community initiatives and events such as Aotearoa’s first ever STEM Festival in 2019 which won an award for Event Excellence.

Driven by the community, for the community

STEM Wana’s purpose is to promote awareness of opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to young people through community events, collaborations and meaningful partnerships.


The Initiatives

There are three core initiatives, STEM in the Community Outreach, Tinkd Makerspace, and the annual multi-award winning Tauranga STEM Festival (STEMFest) and new Maker Festival (MakerFest).

What does ‘Wana’ mean?

1. (noun) excitement, thrill, exhilaration, fervour, verve, gusto, zeal, zest, passion, energy, sparkle, liveliness, pizazz.

2. (verb) to be exciting, thrilling, inspiring, stimulating, moving, rousing.

3. (verb) to bud, shoot (of a plant), sprout, come to life.

The timeline

STEM Wana Trust over the years…

The charity formed in 2019 and started work on developing and delivering the first Tauranga STEM Festival which won the TECT Community Awards for Event Excellence.

In 2020 the Trust reimagined STEM engagement in a COVID-19 world and with the support of local, regional, and national funders was able to deliver on a STEM programme of community events, culminating in a STEM HQ Discovery Centre which welcomed ~3,500 visitors over a period of three months.

In 2021 the Trust developed and delivered on a series of outreach activities around the Bay of Plenty and started work on planning and organising the second STEMFest.

In 2022 the Trust delivered the second edition of STEMFest with ~5,000 participants and won for the second time in a row for Event Excellence from Western Bay Community Events.

In 2023, the Trust partnered with NASA for a tour across the North Island with NASA Astronaut Dr. Kate Rubins and in October we held the third edition of STEMFest welcomed ~6,000 participants.

In 2024 we will be delivering an extensive STEM in the Community programme with outreach to schools, Conversations in STEM Talk Series, and a Summer Tour of the North Island as well as delivering the inaugural Maker Festival (MakerFest) in the October 2024.

Watch this space!