Planning is well underway for the Innovative Young Minds (IYM) 2020 programme. Run jointly by Rotary Hutt City and the Hutt City Council, IYM is designed to encourage young women in year 11 and 12, to explore science, technology, engineering, mathematics and high-tech manufacturing - fields we call the STEMM sector.   Our goal is to inspire young women to consider careers they may not even know exist.
Why just females? Women are significantly under-represented in the STEMM sector. Increasing female participation in STEMM will mean greater innovation and economic success for everyone.
Students at the top of their class and who have a clear sense of direction for future studies are not necessarily the targets of the programme. Instead, we are looking for young women with an interest in STEMM, who may not have had the confidence or opportunity to explore STEMM study and career options in the past.
What happened in 2019?
With the success of the Wellington programmes held in 2017 and 2018 and the demand from outside the Wellington region. This year, we extended the IYM programme to include young women from throughout New Zealand. We now run two week-long programmes in the July school holidays for 80 students.
This was made possible by 46 Rotary Clubs who sponsored students from as far away as Kerikeri and Cromwell. Thank you. 70% of our students said they could not have attended without your sponsorship.
We also established the Innovative Young Minds Charitable Trust this year as a more suitable vehicle to cope with the programme’s growth.
And IYM took 12 alumnae to Silicon Valley to experience STEMM on an international scale.
IYM Values
  • Accessibility: The IYM opportunity is accessible to all students
  • Inclusivity – Students from any ethnicity and socio-economic background are welcome
  • Non-elitist – IYM is not looking for the brightest students. Our programme is designed for students who are interested in STEMM but may need some encouragement and support in pursuing their goals.
Once again, we will be asking clubs nationwide to support students to attend this programme. An email will be sent to all Presidents with more information on this and a copy of the 2019 report. However, if you would like a copy of the report, please email
“One of the most favourite parts of the programme was hearing from the women on STEMM. Hearing about their real-life experiences and journeys to get where they are now was awesome.”  IYM Participant, 2019
“Cutting edge technology, detailed designs, international scale, next level engineering and so much more — Fraser Engineering has it all — but that isn’t even the best part! They also operate with an emphasis on encouraging young girls and boys with creative and enthusiastic minds to persevere in engineering.” Excerpt from Hutt at Heart article written by Daisy waters, year 11, Chilton St James School.
“Since IYM, I have gone on to involve myself in more science related programmes. I have volunteered at the Space and Science Festival, WJPT, and recently returned from participating in IYPT, the International Young Physicists’ Tournament. I believe that taking part in IYM sparked my interest in science more and gave me the push I needed to continue doing what I love, and after six months of hard work and two weeks of tournament, achieved 8th place and silver medals as a member of the 2019 IYPT NZ team in Warsaw, Poland. This was such a special opportunity to me, and I never would have had the guts to do it had I not been encouraged by seeing all these other women in science showing that women can do it too.” Amy Cui IYM 2018
Sue Avison
IYM Programme Manager, Rotary Hutt City
E: M: 0273146633