Open Polytechnic looking forward to Hutt STEMM Festival

Posted on 3 June 2016

For the second year, Open Polytechnic, New Zealand’s largest provider of online and distance learning at tertiary level, is proud to support the Hutt STEMM Festival taking place from Saturday 4th –Sunday 12th June 2016 at venues around the Hutt Valley.

The Hutt STEMM Festival brings the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and manufacturing sectors together to host a range of events to share their knowledge and expertise with the local community.

On Saturday, 4 June from 10-11am, Open Polytechnic lecturer Associate Professor Gary Mersham will host a session at the Dowse Art Museum introducing guests to equity, reward and donation-based crowdfunding as well as the recent introduction of crowd lending. “By introducing a very user-friendly crowdfunding regime in 2012, New Zealand has become one of the most innovative crowdfunding countries in the world’” says Professor Mersham. “Equity crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending , crowd lending and angel investment are setting new records, transforming capital raising for start-ups, small-to-medium enterprises (SME’s) and larger businesses as well as supporting numerous good causes.”

Open Polytechnic will also be present alongside their partners in the Hutt Valley Science Education Network (GNS Science and Hutt Science Centre) at the STEMM Education Expo at the Dowse from 3.30pm – 5.30pm on Wednesday 8th June. Open Polytechnic will be sharing information about distance learning qualifications on offer in technology, and primary mathematics and science teaching for practising teachers. 

“Our fee free Graduate programmes in primary science and mathematics teaching help learners gain confidence in teaching these important subjects to young children,” says Dr Lily Belabun, Head of School of Science, Technology and Engineering at Open Polytechnic. “Lower Hutt teachers who want to learn about science are also able to apply for the Hutt City Mayoral Scholarship to gain up to $2,500 for their school to use for science resources, which is a fantastic benefit for local teachers.”

Open Polytechnic will also be represented at the Technology Valley Awards on 9 June, which are included in the Festival.  Open Polytechnic is a finalist in the STEMM Project of the Year category for its innovative online learning platform, iQualify.

For more information on the Hutt STEMM Festival, visit