Secondary students explore engineering pathway

Posted on 2015-07-27 by WMcD

New initiative engages year 10 students in the Waterview Connection roading project as a context for learning pathways.

Year 10 students are finding out about engineering careers through learning experiences based around New Zealand’s most complicated roading project, the Waterview Connection. The educational initiative is called The Waterview Connection: A Learning Pathways Challenge. It was recently launched to a group of secondary teachers at the Well Connected Alliance’s site office in Auckland.

The Learning Pathway Challenge encourages secondary students from invited schools to learn how engineers at Waterview go about their work. School-based learning and visits are being arranged, and culminate in a challenge event for student teams on September 4. “The focus is on ‘what is engineering’,” says Ministry of Education Group Manager Arthur Graves. “The aim is to help, encourage and support students to start thinking about their learning and in this instance have a particular focus on engineering as a future career opportunity.”

The roading project itself involves constructing nearly 5 km of a six-lane highway, half of which is underground through twin tunnels. Around 800 people are employed on this project many of whom are in engineering or related careers. The Waterview Connection: A Learning Pathways Challenge is part of the government’s Engineering Education to Employment (E2E) programme, which aims to increase the number of engineering graduates both professional and trades to meet industry shortage.

The Ministry of Education and the NZ Transport Agency in partnership with the Tertiary Education Commission have created opportunities to support the Learning Pathways Challenge. Schools will have the opportunity to engage in a range of activities in the lead up to a challenge event. These activities include presentations by engineers through the Futureintech Ambassador programme, Waterview virtual field trip facilitated by LEARNZ (CORE Education), visits to engineering departments at four tertiary providers, workplace visits and for some students a visit to the Waterview Connection construction site.

Towards the end of the programme, students from each school will create a three-minute video clip or PowerPoint presentation about what they have learnt about engineering. A team of three students from each school will take part in a challenge event on September 4 2015 which will be a practical engineering-related activity. Prizes will be awarded to the winning team and school.

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