Cawthron partners with Ministry of Inspiration for INSPIRE festival.

23 June 2021

Cawthron Institute is now the proud sponsor of the INSPIRE festival in Nelson.

The annual two-day festival has been running for nine years and provides challenging discussions and hands-on workshops focused on STEAMS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths and Society) education for students aged 8–13 years.
The festival is organised and run by the Ministry of Inspiration – a Nelson Tasman based charity that aims to encourage interest in science to create a more scientifically literate society. This year’s Cawthron INSPIRE festival will be held at Nelson College for Girls on 2-3 September.

Partnering with the Ministry of Inspiration is a natural fit, says Cawthron Institute Trust Board Chair John Palmer.

“This partnership is all about investing in young minds and future leaders for Aotearoa New Zealand. It is particularly fitting as we acknowledge our founder Thomas Cawthron in our centenary year,” said Palmer.

“Thomas Cawthron was an innovator for his time, having the foresight to leave his fortune to create a scientific research institute. Cawthron Institute is very supportive of endeavours that inspire our future generation of scientists. The Cawthron INSPIRE festival is a great pre-cursor to our own Cawthron Scitec Expo which is held later in September for students to explore and demonstrate their own scientific ideas.”

Ministry of Inspiration Chief Inspiration Officer Amy Cornelisen says it’s exciting to have Cawthron on board for the festival.

“The Cawthron INSPIRE festival offers students a hands-on introduction to exciting careers that they might not know existed and invites them to think dynamically about possibilities for their own future beyond the classroom.”

“We know New Zealand kids are falling behind in maths and science. Our term-based STEAMS education ties in all subjects in a practical approach to inspire and develop our future leaders, innovators and creative thinkers. INSPIRE Festival further supports STEAMS education by reaching out to young minds from all of Te Tau Ihu,” said Cornelisen.

The last INSPIRE festival held in 2019 was attended by more than 650 students representing 43 different schools across Te Tau Ihu, from Collingwood to Murchison, Maruia and Wairau Valley. In 2021, more than 40 speakers will deliver over 50 presentations and hands-on workshops.

The festival is open to all students aged 8-13 at a cost of $50 per student each day, and scholarships are available. For more information visit

Cawthron Institute is now the proud sponsor of the INSPIRE festival in Nelson.
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