Equipment design child's play for pupils

Waitati School pupils (from left) Albert Baeumer (12), Mihai Whitaker (10), Lydia Morris (11) and...
Waitati School pupils (from left) Albert Baeumer (12), Mihai Whitaker (10), Lydia Morris (11) and Ben Hayward (12) with their design for a tree house, which they hope the board of trustees will approve for construction next year. Photo by Linda Robertson.
They are not yet teenagers, but senior pupils at Waitati School are already starting to look like commercial architects.

The school's senior class has been divided into five teams and tasked with designing a piece of playground equipment, to be built for the school's 150th anniversary celebrations in September.

The possibilities were endless and their minds had been set abuzz, principal Heidi Hayward said.

Miss Hayward said the pupils were required to make a 3-D model and a computer-generated design using architectural software, and each team would present their proposal to the board of trustees on June 18, when the best design would be chosen for funding and construction.

''They've been asked to design their models in reasonable detail, but obviously they haven't had to do any pricing or take serious account of New Zealand safety standards.

''They have only been asked to think about what their design might need to have for little kids, in case they fall off and hurt themselves.''

She said some of the designs were thoughtful because they had a ground level for junior pupils and a higher one for seniors.

''One group even provided a ramp for one of our pupils so she can get her wheelchair inside.''

Miss Hayward said the board had about $10,000-$20,000 ''squirrelled away'' for a project like this.

The winning design would be sent to a commercial architect for professional plans to be drawn up, and it was hoped the equipment would be built early next year.



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