2005 Award Winners

David Henry School, Tokoroa

David Henry School Technology Extension Group students won their category with the help of local mechanical engineer, James Ravenscroft, an employee at Kinleith Pulp and Paper Mill.
The team surveyed and found that there was a need for shade over their sandpit. “I think this was an important step in the project”, said James. “The group had to drop their own individual ideas and work together to create concepts for the greater good”. He helped the students investigate and evaluate different options, build models, and learn more about the sun.

Their teacher commented that having James visit regularly and keep in touch via email helped to motivate the students. “He asked excellent questions to draw forth more ideas and to help guide the project. He also set tasks to challenge them.”
James said that although many of the students knew where the Kinleith Mill was, they didn't know what engineers did on site. “I think that the project has ‘shone a light’ on engineering as a possible future occupation for the students, and given them an insight into what sort of work engineers do”.
The students learned the need to develop detailed objectives, a stringent timeline, and how to allocate tasks to individual team members. He was impressed by how well the nine- and ten-year-olds could analyse and develop ideas.

The experience has inspired other teachers at the school to consider drawing on the expertise of engineers in their technology curriculum work.


2005 Merit Winner

Mt Eden Normal Primary School, Mt Eden, Auckland
Year 6 students worked with Priya Kumar, Metro Water Ltd to redevelop part of their school grounds that was once out-of-bounds. The group used a volcanic outcrop in the school grounds to build a safe and interesting play area for students and the wider school community.

The students were involved in brainstorming sessions, researching possibilities, compiling surveys and analysing the results.  The most popular choices were investigated for practicality, affordability and safety.  This was followed by drafting the design and writing to local businesses to obtain their support and materials for the project.  The whole process was documented from beginning to end.  This provided the basis of the report to enter into the Awards competition as well as enabling the group to communicate their progress on a regular basis to the community at large.  This communication led to an amazing amount of support from both the school and wider community, and it was this support which enabled them to get the project completed.

Engineer’s comment (Priya Kumar, Metro Water Ltd)

“It has been a great pleasure and a rewarding experience working with the group of students involved…..The teamwork was tremendous and seeing the students help each other and enjoying the hands-on work they were involved in, from concept to construction, is pleasing.”

Teacher’s comment (Caroline Abbott)

Throughout the entire process the excitement and enthusiasm demonstrated by these students was second to none….The students work has been a constant “hot topic” around the community and we have had an amazing amount of feedback both from our school and from businesses and it has all been very positive.  The support we have received has allowed the project to become a reality.”