Van rebuild a school project
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
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.