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Manaiakalani Summer Learning Journey

Supporting STEM learning at home for disadvantaged young people


Help disadvantaged students maintain continuity of learning over the school summer break.


Over 1000 students per year since 2020 participated in the programme.


Provide at-home STEM learning resources and equipment.


Young people loved doing the Nanogirl STEM activities. Increased engagement with and appreciation for science.


There is a well-documented annual slump in student literacy achievement during the school holiday, which can contribute to lower student achievement throughout the school year.

Through collaboration with the Manaiakalani Summer Learning Journey, we are helping to maintain students’ science and literacy skills throughout the year. 

The Summer Learning Journey is a free program for school students, which aims to keep up the continuity of literacy and digital learning over the summer break. The Summer Learning Journey is provided free to students who attend schools part of the Manaiakalani Programme, a collaborative project to raise student outcomes in economically disadvantaged school districts. Offering students full digital citizenship through devices and home internet access, the Manaiakalani programme works to significantly improve students educational achievement outcomes through a digital led, teacher delivered program.

By collaborating with Manaiakalani, we developed a programme to bring fun, practical science learning into the homes of over a thousand students a year since 2020.

In an education programme trial made possible through our Buy One Give One programme, 50 students experimented with Nanogirl through a customised version of our Nanogirl’s Lab online learning programme. 

Our challenge was to build a programme of STEM activities that could be done at home, with everyday items—suitable for students with some of the least access to resources in the country. This meant that students might not have the items that others think of as “everyday,” like scissors, tape and paper. 

The programme we built focuses on creative problem solving and engineering, so we intentionally included equipment which could be substituted for something else should the student not have access to the original equipment list. Our popular “treasure hunt” videos encourage students to think creatively about what they have around them that could be repurposed for a science project. Thinking up new ways to complete each activity is part of the fun, so students do not feel like they are missing out when they may not have the same equipment as listed.

"This was a BLAST!
I had so much fun doing all the experiments."
—Programme participant

“I just did this activity and I liked it a lot because I got to go outside to look for some items.”
—Programme participant

“I’m looking forward to more activities from you!”
—Programme participant

Following the success of the initial trial, the programme was then launched to more than 1000 students over the summer school holidays. ​

To address the challenges some students faced with accessing basic equipment, Nanogirl Labs volunteers packed 500 packs filled with stationery supplies and interactive experiments to enable the students to complete all of their Nanogirl’s Lab experiments.

We work globally with partners who share our passion—creating opportunity through STEM.

If you’d like to join us on our mission, please get in touch.

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