Mine of information

By Mikaela Collins

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Neo McCoach, 13, scores. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Neo McCoach, 13, scores. Photo / Michael Cunningham

A Minecraft gaming event is one of a collective of initiatives in Whangarei aimed at exposing kids to science, engineering and technology.

The Minecraft Gaming Day, sponsored by Northtec and hosted by Kevin Waugh and Zac Miller-Waugh, saw 40 children aged 9 to 13 come together to play Minecraft - a computer game where users can: build or destroy houses, mine, fight monsters and create worlds.

Nigel Studdard, NorthTec STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) project manager, said it was one of a cluster of events in Whangarei, like computer coding classes and the more advanced technohacker club, aimed at getting young people involved in STEM.

"For us, there's a major focus on exposing kids to engineering," said Mr Studdard.

"The world is changing, we need to keep these events going to expose kids to technology they wouldn't find in school."

Zac Miller-Waugh is not new to organising Minecraft gaming events and said Friday's event was an extension of one he organised in January.

The coding club from Pehiaweri Marae and Kamo High School were at the gaming day. Mr Waugh said many of the youth who were involved were also part of other computer clubs. Mr Studdard said he had a funding application in to set up a Taster Space at Whangarei Central Library complete with an Opulus Rift - a virtual reality system - and 3D coding to promote STEM.

Mr Waugh said it was important to realise "learning doesn't have to be boring".

- Northern Advocate

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