The Challenge is on – a national competition to unearth the country’s most promising young engineers and furniture makers.
The inter-school competition, The Toolbox Challenge, was created by industry training organisation Competenz and is open to all schools that offer engineering or furniture subjects in years 11 to 13. This year, students can use an app to register, track and update their entries.
“The Challenge is a way to build excitement around trade-based subjects and complements the national curriculum,” says Competenz spokesman Rachel Hopkins. “The inaugural competition last year resulted in some extremely complex and interesting projects being entered. It’s a fun way for students to work towards unit standards while gaining exposure to an industry-based challenge.”
The engineering section of the competition tasks students to create a project using any type of material but must include a moving part. The furniture challenge requires students to design and build a piece of furniture that doesn’t exceed one cubic metre and is made from two types of material.
In 2016, the winning engineering entry was designed by Rangitoto College student James Thompson, whose model traction engine (pictured above) caught the eye of judges. The engine components were created using CAD, a milling machine, jig, welder and a 3D printer.