Van re­build a school project

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART

A team of Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dents are gain­ing hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence as part of a new school ini­tia­tive.

Nine se­nior boys are spend­ing Wed­nes­day af­ter­noons at the Mus­cle Car Fab­ri­ca­tions work­shop restor­ing an old Bongo van.

The project is be­ing fa­cil­i­tated by Win­tec coun­selling stu­dent Da­mon Shaw and su­per­vised by guid­ance coun­sel­lor Ju­dith Kelle­her.

The aim is to give the boys an out­let where they can work to­gether and learn to talk and re­late to each other, said Mr Shaw.

‘‘ It’s teach­ing them about work­ing as a group, as well as giv­ing them some good work ex­pe­ri­ence and a show­ing them a bit of Kiwi in­ge­nu­ity. They are putting some­thing to­gether from noth­ing with lit­tle funds and mak­ing some­thing of it.’’

With the help of Fairview Mo­tors me­chanic Clay­ton Main and the team at Mus­cle Cars, the boys will trans­form the ve­hi­cle into a work­ing camper van.

The van will

then

be sold, with half the prof­its go­ing to­wards a re­ward for the boys and the other half fund­ing a project for a sec­ond group of stu­dents.

Mrs Kelle­her said that get­ting the boys in­volved in some­thing they en­joy do­ing was a valu­able way to teach them im­por­tant skills.

‘‘They are learn­ing prob­lem solv­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, co-op­er­a­tion, con­fi­dence – I re­ally be­lieve that you have got to get kids en­gaged in things they love to do be­fore you can make any change in their lives. Hope­fully they come out of this with some idea of what they would like to ca­reers.’’

Year 11 stu­dent Joshua Mor­riss said the project was a great op­por­tu­nity for him to get some ex­pe­ri­ence in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try.

‘‘It’s pretty good that the school helped us to get into it. It’s help­ing us to keep out of trou­ble and just fo­cus on this.’’

The team thanks David Swap for giv­ing them space to work on the van, the team at Fairview Mo­tors and Mus­cle Car Fab­ri­ca­tions, Colour­plus for do­nat­ing paint thin­ner and the school for fund­ing the project.

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