School students get a taste of engineering world

6 March 2017

School students get a taste of engineering world

Budding engineers from five Northland high schools took the opportunity to find out more about the industry at a special information day held at NorthTec.

Around 40 keen students took part in Friday’s (3 March) workshop, the first event run by NorthTec as part of the national EE2E (Engineering Education to Employment) project, which aims to draw more young people into the industry. The Government has a target of 500 additional graduates per year, mainly from the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (NZDE).

The participating schools were Whangarei Boys’ High, Excellere College, Te Kura Hourua o Whangarei Terenga Paraoa, Christian Renewal School and Dargaville High School.

The students enjoyed the opportunity to find out about studying civil and electrical engineering at NorthTec, with guest speaker Ricky Hanger, from Whangarei-based Northland Civil Consulting Engineers Ltd, highlighting the many opportunities in the industry and describing some of the major projects he has managed.

They had the chance to get hands-on with a practical problem-solving exercise, run as a competition between groups of students. Each team had to figure out how to make a “bristle-bot” – a small, moving device made from the head of a toothbrush and a cellphone vibration device.

After constructing their “bots” the teams raced their creations against each other, with a group from Dargaville High School winning the day, followed by a team from Te Kura Hourua o Whangarei Terenga Paraoa.

The students also heard about the EE2E project from NorthTec’s Project Lead, Mirko Wojnowski, and gained an insight into studying engineering at NorthTec from Dr Mike Mullany, Principal Academic (Civil Engineering), and Ken Levinsohn who is setting up the new NZDE (Electrical).

Further events and workshops are planned throughout the year across Northland and will include a day aimed at encouraging more women into engineering, as well as a professional development field trip for high school teachers. NorthTec is one of just six education providers nationally to receive funding through the Tertiary Education Commission’s (TEC) EE2E Secondary-Tertiary Pathways Project.

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