A Rosmini led project to increase students’ engagement in technical and theoretical subject content.
Over the last five years Rosmini College has been engaging students in technical and theoretical subjects using practical projects. This was originally based on rocketry and involved students building all paper rockets powered by hobby sized motors. This grew and expanded to the point where our students are now designing and firing rockets with their own design and build telemetry along with the simpler duration type rockets. We average about 100 to 150 launches per year. This is driven by the benefits of linking practical application and theory.
Along with the Rocketry program we introduced a radio-controlled aircraft program where students build kitset planes using traditional balsa construction and electronically controlled motors. Students involved in this program receive instruction and support from RC builders from the local community and develop project management, communication, practical fabrication, and physics skills. Students who have the right aptitude can go on to to be involved in the advanced projects that require support from local universities and aviation industries. This includes building a full-sized 2-seat all-aluminium light aircraft. This is being build for a client and in exchange for our involvement the client is funding flight training time for the students.
Of the original 14 students involved in the build, all aged 16 to 17 years, eight are now studying engineering at Auckland University. One is studying aerospace engineering at Sydney North University in Australia. One is now training with the NZ Air Force having received a Prime Minister’s award for Trade Training. Three of the younger students won a national engineering competition and have been offered internships with a New Zealand based company involved in launching spacecraft.
These projects will continue to grow and expand.