A programme opening the eyes of young Māori to the possibilities of high-tech research is sending a group of Taranaki rangatahi to Silicon Valley in the US.
All 15 of the year 8 to 11 students were members of Te Runanga o Ngāti Ruanui Trust's 2Nuicode programme.
Trust kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said 2Nuicode was developed after she became aware of how poorly represented Māori were in the information, communications and technology sector.
"Less than 1 percent of Māori study ICT and only about 2.5 percent are employed in the sector while incomes [in ICT] are double that of the national median.
"It is a sector we must embrace while carving out our own identity."
"Our rangatahi are naturally creative, we need to expose them to global trends and initiatives that spark their imaginations and foster their entrepreneurial spirit."
The students, of Ngāti Ruanui and Ngāruahine descent, came from Patea, Manaia and Hāwera.
The Trust's youth co-ordinator and innovator Vince Nuku said the 2Nuicode programme was focused on coding and robotics.
"Since this programme began in January I've seen our rangatahi grow in confidence and skill," Mr Nuku said.
"From app design to programming, they learn how to turn their ideas into functioning reality and seeing their determination and hunger in attacking each challenge has been rewarding for us."
Ms Ngarewa-Packer said the trip to California in July would be run in partnership with Callaghan Innovation and include workshops at Stanford University, Google's HQ and other technology businesses.
At the end of the week-long visit, the young people would be required to present a completed project.
But Ms Ngarewa-Packer said the students would not have their heads buried in a screen all the time.
"They'll be starting in the morning with bootcamp so they've got swimming and running and those sorts of things and obviously we'll be weaving our own tikanga in there, as well with karakia and making sure they are kept connected to home while they are away."