This article is based on the findings from a Master of Education dissertation, which explored the partnership between a junior school (Year 7–10) in New Zealand and VineLife Limited—a technology company based in Auckland. In this partnership, the students completed a design sprint, including a series of activities that required them to apply design thinking to a specific problem: investigating how to best use a sensor to scan trees within a forest for diseases. This article explores the benefits of such school–industry partnerships and shares insights gained from the research, including the benefits of exploring authentic problems, engaging with external audiences and encouraging student agency and critical thinking. Assertions are made about the need for a person to liaise between the school and industry to best enable Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) based learning in schools.
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