Murihiku Tertiary Academy (MTA) Building and Joinery students at SIT | Te Pūkenga have taken on their largest project to date, learning and practising new skills in Building and Joinery on a Wendy house.
The class, made up of nine Year 12 students from Southland Girls’ High School, Southland Boys’ High School, Fiordland College, Menzies College, and Te Kura Correspondence School, have spent 12 weeks on the project, which is nearing completion.
SIT Tutor, Lee Park, says the Wendy House project was chosen to allow the students a broader range of learning options, “so they could choose to go into either Joinery or Building as a career”. It was also to offer them something different than what they could be doing in their hard materials classes at school.
Pointing to its success, Mr Park said “this is the first year that the Wendy House project has been done with the MTA students. We’re looking at the possibility of making two next year.”
He elaborated on the range of skills students have developed: learned how to safely use a variety of wood-working machines, from battery hand tools, up to large, fixed machinery with spinning blades that dress or cut the timber to the required sizes; read tape measures and rulers to mark out the sizes they need to cut the material to; be able to use maths and read the specifications to make the project; and learning to work together as a team.
Mr Park explained students who completed the MTA course had a better chance of gaining acceptance into a full-time course. “Health and safety are a big part of what they learn, it can give them confidence that they can make more challenging items using our machinery when they come to the pre-trade course.”
Once they’re out in industry, graduates can build on the foundation knowledge gained by participating in the MTA course, Mr Park added.
Year 12 student, Jayden Jiwan, said “Overall, I’ve enjoyed the process and the progress I’ve made.” He liked working with a team and learning new skills, such as learning the different joints for connecting wood, as well as the chance to use new machines and materials. “The course gives me the ability to move forward into Joinery,” which he intends to complete his apprenticeship in and enter as a career. “It’s a good idea to do a pre-trade course at SIT, it looks good on the CV,” he said.
Fellow team member, Caitlyn Hamilton, described the project as fun. “My favourite thing is being able to cut out the pieces of wood ourselves.” Caitlyn is a hands-on learner and is taking the programme because she’s interested in continuing with Joinery as a hobby. “I like projects working with wood,” she said, adding she still had a Wendy house from her own childhood. “I hope it goes to a family. It’s pretty cool” said Caitlyn.
SIT | Te Pūkenga offers more than 18 different MTA programmes each year, giving students the opportunity to learn about a career they are potentially interested in, and gain credits toward NCEA.