Te Kauwhata College and Ngaruawahia High School students take part in BCITO Build Ability Challenge.

North Waikato students are finding out first hand about the construction trade through this year's BCITO Build Ability challenge.

Groups from Te Kauwhata College and Ngaruawahia High School decided to take part in the challenge which sees them plan, design and build a project of their choice while sticking to a strict budget.

Kick-started in May, entries from the 14 secondary schools across the country will be judged in September with a $1,000 voucher for their school's technology department up for grabs. 

Some of the Ngaruawahia High School Build Ability team members Tammy Tripp, left, Stevie Simons, Atama Nepia and Samuel ...

Some of the Ngaruawahia High School Build Ability team members Tammy Tripp, left, Stevie Simons, Atama Nepia and Samuel Haehae with the beginning of a performing arts stage.

At Te Kauwhata, an insect house is in the works with the team starting the construction phase. 

"Ours is quite different, everyone will be surprised it," student Rhys Johnston said. 

It was chosen for its sustainability aspects as the 1.75m high and 1m wide structure is set to house bees as well as other insects.

As part of their research, the group visited the beekeeping supplies company Ceracell to learn about beehive units and how to attract bees as the house will live at the school once completed. 

But the functionality of it wasn't as difficult as other phases of the project, Rhys said.

"Probably the designing was the hardest part."

Head of technology and hard materials Ralf Schwinn said it will be made up of the least amount of metal connectors as possible.

"We chose to go with a  traditional carpentry construction...the reason is there's opportunities for learning in it," he said.

The "dying trade" is what Schwinn mastered in when living in Germany.

At Ngaruawahia, the team is building a performing arts stage with a dome cover.

The project ties in with plans for an eco friendly section of the school as some of it will be made from recycled material.

Tyres were also used for part of the base, team member Samuel Haehae said. 

Samuel said it's been hard work to begin with as they had to deal with unexpected issues like digging out a tree stump and they discovered a concrete slab in the ground. 

But so far they are on track with member Tammy Tripp posting regular blogs which is part of the project. 


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