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South Pacific and Indigenous Engineering Students (SPIES) - University of Auckland Day

South Pacific and Indigenous Engineering Students (SPIES) - University of Auckland Day

South Pacific and Indigenous Engineering Students (SPIES) - University of Auckland Day

South Pacific and Indigenous Engineering Students (SPIES) University of Auckland

 Kia orana, Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Bula vinaka and Kia ora 

On Wednesday the 6th of September, a group of 14 Year 9 and 10 students were very lucky to get the opportunity to go to the University of Auckland to learn more about Engineering. We travelled by van to the University of Auckland Engineering building to meet other schools, get free food, and learn about all the different engineering styles and what they are. The event was hosted by SPIES (South Pacific and Indigenous Engineering Students) who operated their SI’I (Seek to Inspire and Inform) Outreach programme for school. When at the University each of the four schools would go to different stations to learn about engineering.

First, our Rutherford College group were taken to a station where we had to build a boat only using sheets of aluminium foil. The goal was to make a stable boat/build that is able to hold the most amount of weight in water. The build could only be 10 cm high and 30 cm in length. After around 20 mins of building and planning the boat, each team –of 3-4 teams– were to bring their boat up to test how much weight it could carry. Pebbles and small weights were placed around the boat until the boat sank. One of Rutherford's teams managed to get 1.5kg, then to win a prize at the end of the day with the strongest boat of all schools.

Afterwards our school went to more of a technical/robotics engineering activity. In the same groups as before each team would get the opportunity to build a robot, and once finished, programme the robot using coding tools. The aim of the coding activity was to have the robot placed in the centre of a platform and then knock over 2 obstacles off the platform as quickly as possible, without the robot falling off the platform as well. After this activity all schools had a quick snack break in which the university kindly gave out snacks and water at the beginning of the day.  

For the second to last activity Rutherford College had a go at more of a design point of engineering. The challenge for this engineering activity was for each member of the group to choose something that they felt related to them the most. This could be as simple as a hair tie, phone, rugby ball etc. After each member had chosen their object, the group had to design a rocket ship to be launched into space, but the only catch was that the spaceship and launch had to be made with the 4 objects that were previously chosen.  

Finally, before lunch was one of the most popular activities. Each team had 3 balloons, a bottle of vinegar, another empty bottle with measurements on the side, and baking soda with a spoon. The aim of this challenge was to get the balloon to a specified diameter and circumference as given by the instructors. In order to blow up the balloon the group would pour a certain amount of vinegar into the measured bottle, pour a few spoons of baking soda into the balloon, then wrap the balloon around the lid of the bottle and pour the baking soda from the balloon into the bottle. The baking soda and vinegar would create a chemical reaction and form gas that goes into the balloon and expand it.  

Finally after all these activities, the university was kind enough to buy all the school's lunch. We were all fortunate enough to get some free pizza, chicken wings, and sprite or coca cola. After lunch we had a prize giving where everybody gave the winners of each activity a prize. It was such a great opportunity that us students were given and we would like to thank each teacher that helped, the university and the people who hosted the engineering activities, SPIES. 

We would like to thank Mr Talamaivao and Mr Tagaloa for organising us to attend this event. 

Meitaki (thank you in Cook Islands) Roma Bowers-Fleming 9 HY eering Students (SPIES) - University of Auckland Day


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