Stu­dents de­sign wharenui

Coastal News - - Front Page - By AMY DI­A­MOND news@coastal­news.co.nz

If you could de­sign a new wharenui for Whanga­mata Area School, what would it look like?

That was the chal­lenge more than 70 Year 9 and 10 stu­dents re­cently took on as part of a nu­mer­acy topic at school.

The stu­dents were learn­ing about ge­om­e­try, mea­sure­ment and ron­goa¯ Ma¯ ori [tra­di­tional heal­ing] and about 18 wharenui models were cre­ated.

Dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy teacher Ian Ful­ton said the stu­dents were asked to come up with a con­cept draw­ing of what a wharenui and wharekai might look like in the area where Te Piringa was cur­rently sit­u­ated.

“We used the com­mu­nity marae as a model for what was en­vis­aged for the Whanga­mata com­mu­nity,” he said.

The stu­dents were then given the choice of what to cre­ate their 3D models out of.

“One group of boys de­cided to build it out of wood, which then snow­balled and be­came the ma­te­rial of choice,” Ian said.

He said the project was a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort where ma­te­ri­als teacher Chris Caw­ley helped with the ma­te­ri­als and then al­lowed stu­dents to use the work­shop.

“At one stage we had most of the Year 10s in there work­ing on their models.”

Mr Ful­ton said the end re­sult was more than he could have ever imag­ined.

“The stu­dents used their prior knowl­edge and in­cor­po­rated a lot of de­tail and tra­di­tional fea­tures, like the tekoteko [fig­ure head], paepae [beam], ex­posed beams in­side to show the ribs and spine.”

Mr Ful­ton said he was pleased with how well the stu­dents col­lab­o­rated, fed ideas off one an­other, and in­cor­po­rated tra­di­tional fea­tures as well as mod­ern build­ing fea­tures.

The stu­dents also had to make their models to scale based on the size of the land they were us­ing and kept in line with the coun­cil build­ing guide­lines.

PHOTO/ SUP­PLIED

Haze Horo shows off his wharenui model.

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