Options a plenty for Taranaki High School students

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Changing a car battery, putting up an electric fence and lifting weights at the gym. These were just some activities that were run during WITT's High School Open Day on Friday.

A total of 230 students from many of Taranaki's high schools got a taste of some of WITT's 65 programmes during the half-day event.

WITT Marketing and Events Coordinator Samantha Legge said the purpose of the open day was to create an opportunity for WITT to engage directly with high school students and form connections with potential learners.

“It was a great experience to show ākonga of Taranaki what their options are here at WITT, and how we could help to build their future and find their career path.

“We wanted to be able to offer a range of engaging, fun and practical workshops that give students a real taste of the programme they were interested in,” she said.

The day started with a karakia and then the students were taken around the campus where they ended up at their first chosen workshop.

Samantha said they had two more workshops they could attend followed by refreshments at the end of the day.

“Once the students had attended the workshops they were most interested in, we provided them with some kai – American hotdogs and paddle pop ice blocks.”

The Edge radio station were also on site and set up connect four, giant jenga and a hole in one game with prizes up for grabs.

New Plymouth Girls’ High School students Katie Kemp and Georgia Death were impressed with what they saw on site.

“There are lots of options and a different selection of things you can do,” Georgia said.

Both said they’re interested in primary industries because they have come from farms.

Georgia said they set a couple of traps and electric fences without getting a shock during a course introduction.

Katie said she thought the tutors were nice to deal with.

“The people are really friendly and helpful to go to,” she said.

The pair thought the hands-on carpentry visit was also fun and enjoyed having a turn using the nail guns.

Riley Peters, Josh Henshilwood-Old and Nathan Brophy from Spotswood College were also part of a group touring the campus.

Reilly said he was interested in civil engineering.

“We did a competition where we had to build a tower from newspaper that could hold a ball and stand against wind from a fan.”

He learnt the tower needed braces.

Josh said the tutors explained each course well and was amazed by the power of the nail guns in the workshop.

“You get very good practical and theory work, perfect for when you go out to work,” he said.

Nathan said it was great to be on site rather than read about the courses on a website.

“It’s good to get a grasp of what it’s really like and how the place operates.”

Nathan wasn’t too sure what area he will study next year but leaned towards a trade.

Head of Vocational Pathways at Spotswood College Scott Manson said the school had been doing a whole week of careers-based activities and opportunities.  

“There is a mix of mainly Year 12 and 13s here today. Some are looking at degree-based study and others more trade-based programmes next year.”

WITT will hold a public Open Day on 13 November this year.

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