Tait’s Trust Funded Science-Education Scheme Sees Induction Of 10 More Teachers For 2024

The primary school science teacher-training programme funded by The Tait Foundation has launched its second cohort, with 10 local schools taking up the opportunity for 2024. The Sir Angus Tait Science Teaching Enrichment Programme (SAT STEP) aims to develop the confidence and competence of primary school teachers in the field of science.

Pictured, from left, are: Katie Klingenberg (Tait Foundation administrator), Azeez (Te Rōhutu Whio), Tracy Brown (Bishopdale School), Matt Thomas (Waitākiri School), Grace Infantado (Waitaha School), Pete Hay (Avonhead School), Sylwia Kaczmarczyk (Westburn School), Ruth Renwick (Governors Bay School), Ellice Soper (Glentunnel School), Mandy Monteith (Redcliffs School), Amy Markillie (Ashburton Intermediate School), Brigitte Glasson (SAT STEP Programme Facilitator), Ron Gillatt (Tait Foundation Trustee).

The charitable trusts which majority own the commercial Tait business were tasked by our founder with supporting education and over the years this has seen large donations at the tertiary level, mainly to the University of Canterbury. In recent years, however, the Tait Foundation trustees have extended their interest to high, primary and early childhood programmes which aim to boost young people’s interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and careers.

Brigitte Glasson, the SAT STEP facilitator, says the programme’s goal is to determine whether higher-quality teaching from enthusiastic educators will result in a larger proportion of primary children sticking with STEM subjects through high school, polytech or university and into careers — the kind of careers that Tait the business offers. “We are already seeing the original 2023 group making significant positive changes in science opportunities in their schools and communities,” she says.

In 2023, the Tait Foundation provided funding for eight teachers and this year has increased that to 10, including an Ashburton school. At the launch event, Trustee Ron Gillat said he and fellow trustee Alan Bruce were very pleased with the first year’s results and happy to be involved in a programme he hopes will be taken up by other funders around the country.

Eight Canterbury teachers hosted by Tait Lead Design Engineer, Alan Murray (pictured right) as part of the Sir Angus Tait Science Teaching Enrichment Program (SAT STEP). in 2023


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