THE WONDER PROJECT - November 2018
The Wonder Project is Engineering New Zealand’s free programme for schools, designed to get young Kiwis excited about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It partners teachers with STEM professionals around New Zealand. There are three streams – one for years 5-8, one for years 9-10 and the last for years 11-13.
Our draughting manager, Chris Avery, heard about the project and decided to get involved as a way to give back to the community and profession. He worked with year 4 & 5 students at Prospect school in West Auckland. This involved helping them to design and build a water rocket, teaching them about Newton’s laws, the engineering design process and working as a team.
This turned into a class and then a school competition – which the kids really enjoyed and got into.
Chris observed that a lot of the kids had very little awareness of jobs in STEM fields so spent time with them researching roles. He spent one hour per week at the school for eight weeks, working through the pre-designated modules. A Maori engineer joined the school to conduct one of the sessions in Maori.
Chris describes this as a well-set up and tested course that he’d love to be involved with again.