15% households with school aged children without internet access       39% of Aucklanders born overseas       82% of 18 year olds have NCEA Level 2       22% unemployment for 15-24 year olds       94.6% attend pre-school       1 in 4 children in poverty       79% pass NCEA Literacy in Yr 11       76% at or above national reading standards starting high school

Home About COMET Auckland News Latest News Events Data and Resources Publications Snapshots Submissions Languages Strategy Mātauranga Māori SouthSci Talking Matters Youth Employability Learning Auckland Community Notices Job Opportunities Archives Core Documents Newsletters Previous Programmes Contact Us


Click here for more information about Auckland STEM Alliance 


SouthSci - Participatory Science Platform: South Auckland Pilot

Applications for 2018 are now open!-Get in touch to start working on your 2018 project application, or download the form below!

SouthSci Application Information 2018.

Click here to download the 2018 Initial Idea Application Form!

What is SouthSci?

We are trialling a new way of connecting communities with science, by supporting them to develop research projects around questions that matter to them. We hope to show the value of science and science skills to our youth. We also hope to highlight some local career pathways within the science sector, while building relationships between local science businesses, researchers and young people.

The Auckland STEM Alliance (ASA) and COMET Auckland (COMmunity Education Trust) are the joint hosts for the Science in Society: Participatory Science Platform: Platform (PSP) project in South Auckland. This is a project which is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and which we have dubbed SouthSci.

Click here to see the 2015 funded projects!

Click here to see the 2016 funded projects!

Click here to see the 2017 funded projects!

What is the project aiming to do?

SouthSci is aiming to set up a number of research projects in the community within South Auckland, around a topic of interest to the group running them. For example, if you are trying to clean up the streams in your neighbourhood, you might want to know what kind of chemicals are in the water. We could work with you to design a research project sampling water quality in streams. You could then work with local scientists to analyse the samples in a laboratory – and then start to try and fix the pollution issues.

Let your imagination run wild - if you had the money and expert help, what question would you try to answer?

Who can get involved?


Community groups, schools, or science education professionals who work with children and young people! Community-based parties include community groups, organisations, schools, businesses and Māori or Pacific collectives.

Applicants and projects must be based within or have access to South Auckland. For any single project, up to $20,000 may be applied for.

Every project must be a collaboration between the community, educators, science or STEM professionals, and young people.

STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

What is the timeframe?

This timeframe for 2018 runs from January '18 through to June '19, with applications due in one of three intakes:  Feb 26th, May 28th and October 29th.  Up to 30% of the funds can be allocated in the first intake, with at least 15% retained for the third intake"

The 2017 Steering Group

Shirley Johnson, COMET Auckland, Chair

Mary-Anne Dehar, NIWA

Emma Timewell, Plant & Food Research

Michael Steedman, Kaiārahi, University of Auckland

Fred Luatua, ATEED Representative

Jay Malhotra, Tamaki College, Teacher Representative

Two Iwi manawhenua Representatives

Pasifika Representative

STEM Industry Representative


The 2016 Science Advisory Panel

Peter Buchanan, Biologist, Environmental Education, Landcare Research

Daniel Hikuroa, Research Director, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga

Michelle Dickinson, Senior Lecturer Engineering, University of Auckland

Tom Trnski, Head of Natural Sciences, Auckland Museum

Sarah Morgan, Project Manager

Sarah is the project manager - and it’s her job to answer any and all questions about the project, so don’t be shy about asking! She has a background in research science and can help you find plenty of experts to work with. Sarah will also be working with the project teams who are funded, so if you have any questions, either about this year’s projects or potential future projects, email her sarah.morgan@cometauckland.org.nz




Te Pūnaha Matatini-Funded Intern

Tulele Masoe was the SouthSci intern for 2015-Feb 2016, a position funded and supported by Te Pūnaha Matatini, a Centre of Research Excellence at the University of Auckland. www.tepunahamatatini.ac.nz
If you’re interested in an internship with us - get in touch!






The SouthSci project is run by COMET Auckland, a Council Controlled Organisation aiming to make education more effective and equitable across Auckland. COMET started as the City of Manukau Education Trust in 1998, and plays an important role as intermediary, advocate, and connector between the Council, the education sector, and the many different education, skills and training providers.

The Auckland STEM Alliance aims to advocate for, and facilitate the connection of communities and science businesses in the Auckland region for locally employed, science-skilled youth of today, in the future.