Bach project part of hands-on learning

YVETTE BATTEN - NORTH TARANAKI MIDWEEK
Last updated 05:00 12/03/2014

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Taranaki Futures Skills Squad students have been on a field trip to learn about the materials they'll use to build a bach later this year.

Seventeen year 11 and 12 students have begun a new course aimed at creating practical learning opportunities.

"There's strong pathways for students into university. We're improving the pathways for students into non-university trades and other sectors," Taranaki Futures co-ordinator Warwick Foy said.

"In subsequent years it might be another subject like farming or automotive. This year we're building a bach."

Taranakipine has offered its support. "As one way of supporting us they have offered to host our boys for the day."

This included a tour of the company's Bell Block site followed by hands-on learning on the production line.

Taranakipine human resources and health, safety and environment officer Damon Jacobsen was pleased to help.

"There's the potential for a lot of these young guys to work in an industry like ours or even work for us at some point," he said.

"We're quite supportive of young people understanding that there's avenues out there if they're not suited to the academic side of school."

Mr Foy said during term one Skills Squad students would do field trips and work towards building unit standards.

After that students will begin building the bach. This will most likely be built at Witt, which has supplied building tutor Bruce Howson.

Mr Foy said all students were still in school; Spotswood College, Waitara High, Inglewood High, New Plymouth Boys' High and Francis Douglas Memorial College.

The students' parents have been involved in the process.

"Their children are the guinea pigs in a way," he said.

"They're going to be out of class for two terms, which to the parents who know nothing but the old way, it's quite intimidating.

"They're trusting that this is a new way of educating the kids."

Once the bach is built it will be auctioned and the funds raised will go towards sustaining the project.

Mr Foy is delighted with Taranakipine's involvement and welcomed other firms who wish to become involved to email him on coordinator@taranaki futures.co.nz.

People can follow the progress of the project on the Taranaki Futures Facebook page.

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- Taranaki

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