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High School Students Hone Hands-On Skills at EIT Hawkes Bay

June 28, 2010

Napier students are gaining real-life technology skills building playhouses and constructing motorbikes in a joint venture involving Tamatea High School and EIT Hawke’s Bay.

The two educators established the Tamatea High School Trades Academy this year so that now a group of Year 12-13 students bus to EIT one day a week to learn practical skills in the institute’s workshops and under the guidance of expert trades training tutors.

Seventeen students split into two teams for the year’s first project, constructing playhouses for Hastings-based Cottages New Zealand. Carters and Hastings Aluminium Co Ltd also supported the exercise by contributing building materials.

EIT business relationship manager Paul Hursthouse says:  “It was fantastic to receive support from industry as it’s enabled us to provide an applied and practical learning opportunity for students.”
The two 4.8sq m playhouses are now up for sale at Cottages New Zealand’s Maraekakaho Road yard. They can be viewed on the company’s website www.cottages.nzltd.co.nz

Fourteen students have gone on to learn welding and automotive engineering skills by building their own motorbikes. Their interest has intensified with the possibility of four of those completing the assignment to race their motorbikes at Manfeild.

Projects are formally assessed for NCEA credits, and EIT anticipates some students enrolling for trades training programmes once they leave school. 

EIT welcomed the opportunity to partner with Tamatea High School to provide an extended trades curriculum to senior students, Mr Hursthouse said, and was looking to forward to discussing with other Hawke’s Bay schools how they might also use this learning model.

Currently, EIT was exploring the potential for land-based programmes to provide students with horticultural and agricultural skills.