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The Mind Lab is a specialist learning provider designed to contextualise education in a contemporary setting. Originally established in 2013 in Newmarket, Auckland, The Mind Lab received significant interest and attention due to its innovative, hands-on approach to learning and its highly effective teaching methodologies that are designed to inspire students in the fields of science and technology.

At the end of 2013, The Mind Lab was receiving a lot of recognition from government and media for its innovative approach to science and technology education. At the same time, Unitec was developing a new suite of postgraduate programmes designed to recognise learnings from applied practice in the workforce.


In early 2014, a collaborative relationship was proposed that could draw on the expertise and skills of The Mind Lab with the postgraduate capabilities, applied practice and assessment frameworks of Unitec.

The Mind Lab formed part of a joint venture with Unitec until August 2018, at which point The Mind Lab was approved by NZQA as a standalone Tertiary Education Organisation. The Mind Lab’s valued long-term partner Unitec retained their 50% shareholding of The Mind Lab and key members of their executive team remain on their Board of Directors, but The Mind Lab became an independent education institute focused on delivering contemporary education to New Zealand students.

The Mind Lab founder Frances Valintine was previously the Chief Executive of Media Design School, one of New Zealand’s most successful private training establishments. Frances Valintine Chairs the Board of The Mind Lab and acts as an education consultant to the ongoing development of the programme.

In December 2013, the Associate Minister for Education, Nikki Kaye, identified a critical mass of 10,000 New Zealand teachers (of the 50,000+ primary and secondary teachers) needing further training and the skills to provide more relevant educational delivery methods. The Mind Lab’s qualifications respond to this demand.

Sign up to our free site Mind Lab Kids Classroom, your one-stop-shop for science, tech and discovery challenges to complement the curriculum. Use our fun Mind Lab Kids videos as handy resources to spice up your class topic and get kids practicing key skills in creating, innovating, failing, collaborating and problem-solving.  Simply sign up, choose up to 3 challenges that suit your year level, and pop them all into one activity that you share digitally with your students. They’ll take it from there — crafting, learning and recording their work to share with each other on our free, super safe site. https://classroom.mindlabkids.com

Check out our online portal where kids can take The Mind Lab experience home with them!

Mind Lab Kids is a safe and secure collection of fun, home-based challenges for young makers, doers, thinkers and tinkerers. Challenges and questions are video-based, created by our EdTech Educators. Kids respond to the challenges by recording their achievements and learnings on their phone or tablet. Then they upload their video to their profile to aid the learning of other kids (and keep track of their accomplishments). Sign your 5-12 year old up for free at mindlabkids.com.