A total of $150,000 has been pledged to the House of Science to help it expand its reach and translate its educational resources into te reo.
A yearly donation of $100,000 from the Wright Family Foundation was announced yesterday and will help the educational programme enlist two part-time staff and widen its current reach throughout the Tauranga region. A separate $50,000 has also been promised to cover the cost of translating the House of Science resource boxes.
House of Science director Chris Duggan said the funding would help make previously unobtainable goals a reality.
"It allows us to move forward and achieve our vision of raising the scientific literacy in the local community without the financial strains and barriers that we had earlier," she said.
While the grant will not cover every bill, it will allow House of Science to meet its overwhelming demand for its services in Tauranga and throughout its six other sites around New Zealand. Ms Duggan said the translation of the resources into te reo had been a "huge goal for us" but a costly exercise.
"Making science available for the whole community is what drives us and there's certain parts of the community who have fewer resources available to them, and kura and full immersion schools have a huge barrier when it comes to accessing full resources."
The Wright Family Foundation founder Chloe Wright said the offer of an extra $50,000 boiled down to simple kindness and caring.
"We can reach so many more people in the way they want to be reached. And I think that's the key. Sometimes it's about doing what people want, not what you want. Our foundation is all about enabling people to be who they want to be."
Mrs Wright said the foundation was a big advocate for empowerment through education.
"When I visited a House of Science class last year I instantly knew that we had to get involved and expand the potential of this valuable service," Mrs Wright said.
The House of Science was established in 2013 to raise scientific literacy in the community by providing resources and connecting the local science community in order to celebrate the power and potential of science. The work includes professional development for science teachers, providing access to science resources and advice for local teachers, students and the public; as well as developing links between the local science community with local primary and secondary schools.
"When you look at science and what the House of Science is doing, there's an unmistakable feeling of unlimited potential in terms of spreading science literacy, knowledge and ultimately innovation - it really is the future."
Bay of Plenty Regional councillor Awanui Black has been involved with the process and said the translation of the kits was a positive step.
"I take my hat off to the Wright Foundation ... Anything that's going to use our language and help our kids, I'm 100 per cent behind it."
What is the House of Science?
* The House of Science facilitates the sharing of local science resources.
* Co-ordinates the delivery of professional development for school science teachers.
* Provides access to science resources and advice for local teachers, students and the public.
* Develops links between the local science community and local primary and secondary schools.