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From a young age, Dr Michelle Dickinson was drawn to what would one day become a career in engineering, but she didn’t have many role models she could relate to on her journey. That’s why she’s so committed to inspiring young people in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) fields. For Michelle, ensuring greater diversity in STEM is how she can help young people go places in their careers.
Michelle co-founded Nanogirl Labs in 2016 to help inspire, educate, and empower young people. The team at Nanogirl Labs run programs aimed at everything from helping young women develop marine engineering skills to fostering high school science e-learning in the Pacific. During Covid, Nanogirl Labs pivoted to online science adventure videos to help students continue to pursue their interests throughout lockdowns.
Michelle believes that kids know more than we realise about topics they’re told they aren’t good at – they just aren’t being taught in a way that makes sense for them. That’s why she strives to make science teaching engaging and memorable, so the next generation stays interested in STEM.
There are a lot of stereotypes about who goes into STEM fields. But Michelle is living proof that anyone can thrive in this area if they’re interested, determined, and encouraged. That’s why she’s committed to mentoring young people and being a role model for diversity in STEM.
She highlights the importance of equitable access to STEM programmes to increase the sense of inclusion young people feel in these fields. With their range of unique perspectives and backgrounds, these future leaders are better equipped to tackle local and global challenges in the way that best suits their communities.
From the grassroots charitable work of our local Toyota Stores to our partnership with the New Zealand Olympic Committee – and most importantly the bond countless Toyota enthusiasts share around the country – Toyota is proud to call Aotearoa home. Our community ties run deep, and we show it by supporting Surf Life Saving New Zealand, Paralympics New Zealand, the Rotary Youth Driving Awareness (RYDA) program and many other Kiwi organisations.
Cam overcame the challenges Cerebral Palsy presented to become an athlete, adventurer and inspirational speaker, and mobility advocate for people with disabilities.
Matt combines his passion for fishing with his commitment to the environment by teaching others about how sustainable practices can ensure New Zealand’s ocean stays healthy and abundant.