The Institute of Awesome
The Institute of Awesome
Institute of Awesome | New Zealand | Official Site

Work on Secret Projects in the bush.
Change the world!

The Institute of Awesome is an enviro-tech education centre set on 100 acres of native bush, in Whale Bay, Raglan. We host those who want to help change the world through innovation, leadership and technology.


We are “re-booting” an old outdoor education camp as an enviro-tech education centre. A place where kids and communities can reconnect with the natural environment and learn how to use technology to protect and enhance it.

At the Institute we work on secret projects that change the world.

With the help of industry we design engaging & practical projects for schools and groups to run that helps their community and solves environmental issues.

Our environment is vital to our future wellbeing, our tūrangawaewae – where we live, learn, work and play. It is our home, our identity and very much the foundation of our culture and traditions.

Embracing modern and traditional methods from tangata whenua, we connect to be a part of, not apart from the environment.

The centre is forever evolving and being “rebuilt” as a modern learning and research centre with the help of everyone who visits and with the help of industry supplied resident experts, equipment and know-how.


Read our manifesto to find out why we care so much about what we do and how you can help.

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Work on Secret Projects that give back to the community

All the learning at the centre is focussed on a series of “Secret Projects” that solve a problem in the community. These could be monitoring the waterways for pollutants, tracking pests in the bush, measuring CO2 in the air or growing organic food to feed everyone.

The projects are designed by industry experts and then built and run by school groups visiting the camp.

At the end of the project it is presented back to the community as a gift for further community learning.

If you have a project or mystery you need solved let us know and we might make it one of our next Secret Projects for kids to build.


Our projects are designed by industry experts and solve problems using technologies like:

  • Internet of Things (IoT)

  • Wireless & 5G

  • Sensors

  • AI

  • Electronics

  • Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR & AR)

  • Energy

  • 3D printing

  • Makerspaces

  • Machine learning

  • Programming

  • Biomimicry

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 Industry, come build and give back


Come and have your next leadership offsite a the lodge in one of our residencies. You will be taken through leadership development with a unique twist as you will help design the next Secret Project for kids to come and learn about the next wave of technology while solving a community problem.

The participants on each residency will work on a team of up to 20 people planning, designing and building the next project. Each residency is limited to 20 spaces and includes accommodation at the lodge, all meals, entertainment, guest speakers and facilitation.

Each residency also sponsors a group of schools to come stay at our enviro-tech camp and work on the Secret Projects too.

Our spring 2019 residencies


Quarterly Planning Residency

Our quarterly plan residencies bring together those who want to help plan the activities of the centre in general. We review all the submitted community projects and from these design the next series of Secret Projects.
Skills that are useful (but not required) are:

Planning, Consultancy, Research, Project management

A brief on the candidate projects will be supplied to residency participants in advance.


IoT Sensors

This secret project needs smart people and smart sensors.
Skills that are useful (but not required) are:

Simple electronics, Programming, 3D design, Project management

The full briefing will be provided in advance to the Secret Project participants.


Build a unique classroom

This secret project is reconstructing a crashed UFO in the bush. OK it may have been a motion master in Rotorua. We shall rebuild it and turn it into a unique bush classroom. Skills that are useful (but not required):

Simple electronics, Engineering, Imagination, Warp Core Maintenance.

The full briefing will be provided in advance to the Secret Project participants.

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 Enviro-tech Youth Camps

The Huntly Karioi Trust initially built the lodge in 1974 as a school camp. Years later and it still retains the essential characteristics that make it an awesome outdoor camp experience. In 2019 the camp was “re-booted” as an enviro-tech camp, blending the old school camp experience with technology learning. Send your school or community group to stay at the lodge and work on enviro-tech projects in the centre, the 100 acres of bush on the property and in the natural beauty of the Raglan surrounds.

The camp can cater for groups of up to 80 at a time, with two camps per week. We offer fully catered and self catered options. Each camp will work on a Secret Project, solving a community mystery or problem.

Advanced bookings are a must especially over the spring and summer season.

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 Professional Learning Development for Educators.

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We are an accredited provider of professional development for the Ministry of Education and we run technology workshops for teachers who want to learn STEAM and design.

Learn programming, electronics and the 2020 digital technology curriculum for schools with our accredited facilitators.

The technology skills learnt are able to be taken back to the classroom with practical projects the kids can learn from at school.

Our workshops are single or multi day, and can be run along side our kids enviro-tech camps so teachers and students can learn the technology curriculum together.


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