Build-Ability Challenge 2015 kicks off in May

BCITO’s tagline and philosophy of ‘Building People’ starts right at the beginning when future carpenters are still at secondary school.

The BCITO Build-Ability Challenge is a nationwide, school-based competition, open to secondary school-aged students. It’s aimed at pupils with skills in technology who may be interested in pursuing a career in the building and construction industry. It’s also a strategy for BCITO to further build relationships with schools, careers counsellors and technology teachers.

Build-Ability Challenge Winners 2014

Feilding High School's 2014 Build-Ability team - overall competition winners with their mustang-inspired dual-purpose sandpit.

In 2015 the Challenge kicks off on 4 May. Twenty eight schools are lucky enough to have been successful in securing their place in the challenge this year.

Each school will have a team of up to 5 students whose task is to work together to plan, design, cost and build a playhouse to defined specifications. The playhouses must have a distinctive theme, be safe and fit-for-purpose as well as showcasing the construction skills of the team.

Like the name suggests, Build-Ability aims to challenge students. Completing the challenge requires that teams excel in both aptitude and attitude. Competitors will need to think creatively, work collaboratively and keep to timelines throughout the competition.

Documenting each team’s progress online throughout the challenge is an initiative that was introduced in 2014’s Build-Ability competition. Teams will be blogging each week at buildability.co.nz , from May to August, during the build phase of the competition. The public will be able to visit this site and cast their votes on the finished playhouses to choose a winner of the ‘people’s choice’ category.

Prizes up for grabs include $1,000 for the overall winners, a ‘classroom shout’ for the people’s choice award and a GoPro camera for the winners of the best video blog entry.

Build-Ability InspirationsBCITO reintroduced this competition last year with just nine schools competing. It was so successful that it’s been opened up this year to a larger group of competitors. It’s going to be full on and no doubt a nationwide battle will ensue between the top technology students from the following schools:

Awatapu College; Central Hawkes Bay College; Dannevirke High School; Feilding High School; Forest View High School; Howick College; Hutt Valley High School; Kaikorai Valley College; Kamo High School; Kerikeri High School; Mana College; Manurewa High School; Middleton Grange School; Opotiki College Otahuhu College; Queen Charlotte College; Riccarton High School; Rosehill College; Rotorua Boys High School; South Otago High School; Takapuna Grammar School; Tamatea High School; Tararua College; Thames High School; Tuakau College; Waiopehu College; Waitara High School; Waiuku College.

Each team will be mentored by teachers and supported by BCITO Skills Brokers.

Build-Ability also provides students with a chance to be the heroes of their school campus and local community with a focus on giving back. Creating projects to raise money for local community groups, students develop self-confidence, self-esteem and a sense of ambassadorship for their school.

Best of luck to all the schools competing in this year’s Build-Ability Challenge. If last year’s competition is anything to go by, we look forward to seeing some amazingly creative and well-constructed playhouses.

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