Nick Pattison is a leading STEM teaching specialist who started New Zealand’s first STEM immersion class at Rongomai Primary in Otara in 2014 to show how STEM education can provide accelerated learning for Maori and Pasifika students.

His primary classroom led the testing of homes for mould with Landcare Research and Nirvana Health in South Auckland to gather the first baseline data as well as developing a 3D printed device to test waterways for Kauri Die-back which is now used overseas.

As a STEM Learning Designer at Ormiston Junior College, Nick is pushing the boundaries of what a modern New Zealand education looks like. He is leading projects with large companies and iwi towards community outcomes such as increasing fishing stock, monitoring bee population health, creating biochar from plant waste to sequester carbon and grow food crops all while making it fun and engaging for the students, scientists and community.

He believes that following students’ passions can lead to authentic experiences that make the community a better place and has been collaborating with like-minded schools in the USA, Brazil and Australia to demonstrate the benefits of this type of learning.

Co-founder of Smart Fish, Nick is currently working on projects such as how to improve mathematics instruction for underachieving students by using robots in collaboration with the University of California, AUT’s STEM Centre and developing new systems for using the latest in technology for assessment within New Zealand’s classrooms.