The group of four Year 12 Technology students are working on the machine as their CREST project – an international awards scheme that encourages students to be innovative, creative and problem-solve in science, technology and environmental studies.
Brooke is enthusiastic about mentoring the Technohackers and she’s guiding them through the same technological process used in her role as a process technologist at Fonterra-Maungaturoto.
“They’ve definitely inspired me!” Brooke says. “It’s a very ambitious project, and they have to think about every aspect, such as how they construct the machine and develop the software needed to run it. It’s exciting, and they’re having a lot of fun doing it.”
In common with many Ambassadors, Brooke hadn’t ever considered a career in engineering until her Year 13 Physics teacher suggested it. She therefore enjoys the opportunities to talk to students and promote engineering “especially to young women.”
“Being an Ambassador is so fulfilling because you can make a difference in people’s lives. Many girls don’t consider engineering, so having a female engineer talk about her job makes it more accessible to them,” she says.
“Ambassador visits don’t take too much time, and are a really positive experience. Fonterra is very supportive of my involvement, which makes it easy.”
Technology teacher Rebecca Maunder says the students have been fortunate to have Brooke helping to extend and challenge their design ideas.
“She not only provides support, encouragement and inspiration, but is able to work with a diverse, extremely chatty bunch of girls with some crazy ideas,” she says.
“Brooke is always willing to share her knowledge and expertise, and has provided an industry insight that we cannot do in the classroom.”
Student Alvin Cortez says she has learnt a lot, including about robotics and new technologies that she hadn’t known existed. “Our minds have been opened to new ideas, opportunities and experiences.”
If the buzz of voices was any indication, the public expos were a great success. Engineering companies, polytechnics and universities had booths, attracting visitors with virtual reality goggles, robots, a paper motorbike, remote-controlled cars, Lego and a paper tower building competition. A wide range of people, from pre-schoolers to teenagers and adults, got involved in activities, looked at displays and talked to engineers.
As well as organising the expos and programme of workplace visits, IPENZ – the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand – secured the rights to show the engineering film Dream Big. Free screenings ran alongside each expo, and the disks are now circulating around schools.
Many thanks to the nearly 200 Futureintech Ambassadors who were involved in the Week of Engineering. They helped host students on workplace visits to their companies, and did a great job representing their companies at the expos, engaging with visitors, running activities, and explaining the variety of engineering careers.
We’d also like to thank all the companies and organisations that volunteered to host student visits, including: Air New Zealand, Airways NZ, Aurecon, Beca, Calibre Consulting, Chesters, Dempsey Wood, Dynamic Controls, Enztec, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Fonterra, GHD, Harrison Grierson, KGA, Opus, Riley Consultants, Solnet, Stantec, Tekron, Tonkin & Taylor, Transpower, Vector, Watercare, Wellington Cable Car, Woods and Xero.
This year’s Week of Engineering followed a successful pilot event in Wellington in 2016. Plans for next year’s programme are already underway – and may involve extension to another couple of regions, so watch this space!
The Tiaki competition is a new initiative run by the Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust – Futureintech helped with the pilot programme in 2016 and was delighted to be asked to provide mentors as the scheme expanded to ten schools in South Auckland.
The idea of the competition is to unite schools, communities, environmental organisations and local industries, and to encourage students to explore green careers, particularly those that involve science, technology, engineering and maths.
Schools rose to the challenge of the competition and came up with a wide range of imaginative ideas for improving their local environment. Water quality and ecosystems were popular themes, and other schools tackled building an electric vehicle, making biochar and recycling waste into plastic blocks.
The winner of the senior competition was Waiuku College, who worked with production engineer Olivia Williams of New Zealand Steel to design beehives with viewing panels as an educational resource for the community. The team also benefited from the expertise of Plant & Food Research apiary manager Sarah Cross who drove up from Hamilton to provide specialist knowledge about bees and their ecological and agricultural importance.
“For me, being a Futureintech Ambassador is about sharing my journey in the hope that I can inspire more young people in our community to consider STEM careers. Being part of this Tiaki project has given me the opportunity to do exactly that,” Olivia says.
“Although I am no bee expert, engaging with the students has given me the opportunity to be a mentor, both on a personal and on a professional level. The students have already taken a step towards creating a better environment, and they’ve inspired me as much as I hope I’ve inspired them.”
Manurewa High School won second place with their project on algae farming to create a biofuel and support agriculture as an algae mat. Their mentor was Emma Foulkes from Brian Perry Civil.
The junior competition was won by Papatoetoe High School, who worked with civil engineer Natalie Naidoo from Harrison Grierson to investigate wastewater going into their local stream.
Junior runners-up Te Wharekura O Manurewa designed a science kit to monitor the water quality in the Puhinui stream. Their mentor was Hone Ropata of Plant & Food Research.
Futureintech thanks all the Ambassadors and other volunteers who did a fantastic job mentoring teams, and also the MBCT for developing this valuable initiative.
We look forward to supporting Tiaki projects in 2018 – if you’re interested in getting involved in the competition, mentoring another environmental project or visiting South Auckland schools to talk about your career, please get in touch with South & East Auckland Facilitator Renée King: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo caption: Olivia Williams and Sarah Cross advise students at Waiuku College on the design of their beehive.
Our new Profile Explorer (introduced in the previous issue of e-news for schools) allows students to filter Ambassadors’ stories by gender and ethnicity, as well as by key words and industries.
We do understand that most people want to be recognised for their achievements rather than their genetics (whether that’s skin colour or sex-determining chromosomes), but it’s important that all young New Zealanders can look at people working in technology, engineering and science and see that they are ‘people like me’.
Working on this feature has prompted us to do a bit of modernising around how we record data about gender and ethnicity.
How you identify yourself in terms of gender and ethnicity remains entirely your personal choice. Please get in touch with your Facilitator if you would like to discuss how we have recorded your details, especially if you would like to change or add any information.
General queries or concerns? Contact our writer/data enthusiast Madeleine Rashbrooke, email@example.com
Currently known as IPENZ, the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand has consulted its members to discover four priorities: greater credibility, more recognition, broader influence and stronger connections. Its new name – Engineering New Zealand – has been chosen to speak more clearly about “who we are and what we do”, and the new membership pathway provides a professional home for all engineers – from all engineering disciplines and at all levels.
This means being the professional home for a wide range of engineers at every stage of their careers. The new structure helps academics, senior managers, engineering geologists, technicians and technologists to join, as well as engineering professionals from rapidly growing fields. The new pathway includes new membership classes such as Emerging Professional, which provides targeted support for new engineers in those first few years after graduation; and Chartered Member, which recognises engineers who’ve reached an internationally recognised level of experience and competence, through an assessment.
Under the new structure, people currently in the Graduate class will become Members of Engineering New Zealand. This change is to stop people feeling stuck with the 'Graduate' label if they don’t want to progress to an assessed membership class.
Membership and registration as Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) will remain two separate things, with CPEng registration being required for engineers involved in some regulatory sign offs. The new Chartered Member class sits at the same level as CPEng – but is not CPEng. Chartered Member assessment will be focused on general engineering competence, with guidance for academics, senior managers and engineers working in newer disciplines. It provides a new option for engineers who want their competence formally recognised but don’t necessarily see relevance in CPEng registration.
The new membership pathway also carries some new requirements for members that help boost members’ credibility – every year, members pledge to uphold the Code of Ethical Conduct. And every year, members need to complete 40 hours of continuing professional development. Both these commitments help raise the bar for engineering professionals and add value to membership.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org