The AQA’s second Rock our Future School Competition has seen primary schools in Waikato and Manawatū take away the prizes.
This year the competition was centred on designing a final use for a quarry that had finished extracting rock. There were eight finalists entries[MM1] [WS2] .
AQA CEO Wayne Scott says what stood out was the efforts made by two classes in year 6 at Leamington Primary School in Cambridge and two year 7&8 classes at Newbury School in Palmerston North.
Entries came in the form of physical structures, as well as digital builds through the likes of Minecraft.Each of the four winners receive $1,000 for their school and $100 prize for themselves.
The brief for the children was they had been hired by a quarrying company called Big Rock Solutions which had completed extracting rock and now wanted to turn the quarry into an asset for the community.
They were advised the company wanted a sustainable, environmentally sensitive project that would bring benefit to the local community. Neighbours and others in the community need to be considered in whatever final use was designed for the site.
Schools were advised to encourage their pupils to research and make contact with a local quarry and use real-life examples, including, if possible, a quarry that had finished extracting or was getting close to the end of its life. That said, the quarry could be located anywhere.
Wayne Scott says Haana , Rebecca and Monique from Newbury School came up with designing a quarry reserve at nearby Longburn Shingle Co quarry.
“The girls observed that Longburn is an area without much in the way of nature or recreational areas. They came up with a design which had a waterfall running into several natural swimming pools, a camp ground, pathways and even a flying fox.”
Bailey , Amara and Aimee from Newbury School came up with the idea of developing a Forest Adventure Park.
Theodore and Flynn from year 6 at Leamington Primary School suggested making a former quarry site into a history museum.
“We decided to make a New Zealand History Museum because where we live, in Cambridge, we don’t have any large museums.’ the boys said in their entry. They planned the museum to be environmentally sustainable and even built in a business case.
“The museum is made out of non-corrosive metal. It is solar powered. The cafe uses electronic stoves and the hot pools are geothermal. It would make a great profit to pay for expenses including; food, workers, repairs, etc. No littering policies… 15 percent of earnings go to charity.”
Rose, Hayley and Jake from Leamington School also won a prize for their entry to build a community house where homeless people could live.
Wayne Scott says as well as the efforts children put into all the entries, the teachers and parents who supported them also deserve to be acknowledged. He says this Rock our Future Competition was made more challenging to organise and judge on its second run because of Covid-19 but the AQA was looking to run it again next year.