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About Us

How & Why

JackBord Trust is a charitable trust, incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957, 24 May 2019. Companies Office number 2736632, and registered with Charities Services on 21 June 2019 No. CC57106.


We aim to provide equitable outcomes for children of all abilities and backgrounds by working with donors to supply JackBords to schools and community groups.


JackBord Trust is the founder and major shareholder of JackBord Works Ltd.

Any dividends received will be applied to fulfilling its purpose, helping students in need and to breaking

down barriers to STEM learning.

"Fewer young people are following STEM subjects through high school, university, and then into the job force"


"Students declining ability in maths and science a concern"


STEM subjects are not attracting sufficient students despite a desperate need for science, technology, engineering and maths talent in education and industry. Existing tools are usually expensive, complex or superficial, leaving children's curiosity unsatisfied, teachers discouraged and students unwilling to pursue these subjects further.

Minorities, women, and those who learn differently are generally ignored despite being a source of people who are able to make a difference. There is also a shortage of teachers available to teach STEM.


Educators and parents need a system that lets kids learn for themselves, allowing their innate curiosity to grow while fostering the inner drive that keeps them engaged and growing. Kids are mesmerised and influenced by gaming apps and online media. Many lack critical thinking skills. Parents are at a loss and overwhelmed by the influences of social media and a lack of interesting and constructive alternatives.


Existing solutions are simply software and screens which provide little opportunity to build things and experiment, are expensive, difficult to learn and not environmentally friendly.

How & Why it Began

That's where Jack comes in

Jack Penman is the inventor and mastermind behind the development of the JackBord, driven by wanting to create a fun and robust tool that encourages and enables students from all backgrounds and abilities to engage more with technology and science.


He has learnt to understand and direct his gifts of ADHD and Dyslexia into experimenting, creating and teaching, and having a lot of fun along the way, because the journey is where most time is spent... enjoy it!

He started JackBord in December 2017,  Although in reality this dream came from his Uni days at the University of Canterbury where he studied his Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering, whilst at the same time designing and manufacturing weather stations.

Jack has always been captivated by the idea of a general purpose computer that empowers anyone to do just about anything, anywhere no matter who they are. He also considers himself immensely lucky to be surrounded by a core group of talented people who get what JackBord is about and who have been similarly enthralled by the possibilities for our future generations that it presents.

"There is nothing quite so satisfying as watching something you created bring joy to others, changing them for the better."

The JackBord Trust  plays a critical role in assisting schools and disadvantaged groups/families acquire JackBords by raising funds from corporates, foundations and individuals.

  1. To encourage more students to take up coding, engineering or science as a career through educational advancement which is to be achieved using the JackBord Education System

  2. Find ways to reach those minority group young students who would not ordinarily take up technology, coding, science or engineering as a subject and use the JackBord to inspire them to do so with a view to producing more coders, engineers and scientists for New Zealand.

  3. To actively find ways in which students can become practically and usefully involved in the trust's purpose, be it through manufacturing JackBords, mentoring others, using the JackBord to solve problems in the community etc.

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Chris Jackson


Chris is an experienced independent business transformation adviser and program director with deep experience in change management.

Chris has international experience and has a history of success in building delivery capability across multiple markets in Asia, New Zealand and Australia for significant organisations including AIA, AIG, AXA and Manulife.

Chris also holds a University qualification in Business Administration and ran his own advisory company from 1995 until 2017.

Chris’s experience is predominantly within the financial services sector locally and internationally and he has also undertaken successful assignments in the Public Sector, SMEs and in the energy industry.

Currently, Chris Chairs 2 Advisory Boards and, until recently, was a director of Lone Star Farms Limited, Nelson Regional Development Agency and Shadow Management Limited. Chris also was Chair of the Sir Edmund Hilary Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

Outside of business interests Chris is actively involved in community based organisations and participates in numerous outdoor activities.



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Jack Penman

Founder & Trustee

Jack established the Trust in 2019 and has set our culture of fun, transparency, inclusiveness and continuous improvement.

Jack has an innate understanding and respect in our markets, terrific vision and energy, and of course creative genius.

He is the "owner" and keeper of the Trust's principles which are centred around social impact enabling and encouraging students of all walks of life into science and engineering, and environmentally friendly design, materials, construction and use.

Jack recently attended TEDx as a speaker, you can view his talk by clicking the button below.

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Sally Jackson



Sally has had a long career in education with a particular focus on children and young people who need extra support to learn.


Sally worked as a speech-language therapist, a teacher, an education reviewer and most recently in the Ministry of Education at a senior level.


Sally is currently studying for a Ph.D atMassey University.

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John Lewis

Founding Trustee

John has deep experience in direct marketing and advertising as the owner of successful agency Siren Communications, and as a board member of the Direct Marketing Association.

Prior to setting up Siren Communications he was contracted to a number of organisations to launch direct marketing strategies including the New Zealand Retail Merchants Association and Kids Corp, clothing manufacturers. He was previously employed as a specialist direct marketing expert for Perception Advertising.

He developed a passion and expertise for political advertising, running a unique and successful campaign for Wellington mayoral hopeful Mark Blumsky (then designed and ran his campaign “Wellington Alive” which went on to win the New Zealand “Advertising Effectiveness Award” in 1996); Winston Peters to run his early campaign, and latterly two successful mayoral campaigns for K Gurunathan.

John now runs his own business in Kapiti and maintains a strong interest in direct marketing and social media.

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