Throughout the school year, our hard-working students – under the guidance of Technology Leader of Learning Pete Nicholson, take on a range of ‘Issues’ or projects to address problems around the college that need resolving.
This year the Level 2 class have excelled themselves again by tackling three of these. By thoroughly exploring the issues, we establish the stakeholders or end-users and the expectations of the product to exact the finished product.
At the end of 2020, Richard Cameron from Social Sciences came to us for help in better organising the resource for the Year 10 Hangi day that has become an annual college event. Lengthy consultation, followed by design and manufacture, resulted in a fantastic hangi storage shed replicating a small wharenui. With ease, all baskets, rocks, sacks, and teaching resources can be stored and transported to and from the hangi pit. Removable A-framed boards provide a canvas for teaching and learning the tikanga behind a hangi. In Week 6, the wharenui was used first and is now a great asset!
Our senior Outdoor Ed and Mountain Biking students must travel long distances by vehicle to reach their destination for their mountain biking activities, as far away as the Timber Trail in the Pureora Forest Park, Ruapehu. Transportation of up to 20+ bikes relies on parents or hiring bike trailers from other schools in Tauranga. Working with Mr Watson and Mr Syme, we also had the expertise from engineers at Tri-dek Engineering during the year (these guys are fantastic!) Students have designed and manufactured a very professional purpose-built product. The project involved considerable problem-solving and provided a unique and authentic learning experience for all involved.
The third issue had been on the back burner for some time. The Science Greenhouse is deemed an essential supplement to the whare community garden constructed last year. The existing structure had become very run down and no longer fit for purpose due to a lack of working bench space and little storage. Stakeholders (Science teachers Mrs McManaway and Mr Synge) needed the Greenhouse to be an adequate teaching space for a whole class with benches to accommodate this. It also needed to incorporate a six staged programmable watering system and a climate-controlled temperature sensor system that automatically opens and closes the louvres to help regulate the temperature. The space also needed a robust and easily sweepable new floor. Another challenging process, but with all specifications executed to an excellent finish, the finished project resulted in delighted teaching staff and students! A big thanks go to Mr Synge and Ms Roche for their support with Arduino programming and electronics troubleshooting along the way.
Greenhouse– Nathaniel Barry, Nina de Lange, Samuel Malone, Jordan Smith
Senior Product Development is an extremely rewarding subject. Since its conception in 2013, the Aquinas Issues programme has produced some amazing resources for the College and leaves a legacy for our students knowing that they have added value to Aquinas and left it better than when they arrived! Well done Team.