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Apollo programme helps students explore engineering

Two of Avondale's Year 13 Calculus students have gained an insight into an exciting career pathway after attending the Apollo Engineering programme for Māori and Pasifika students at the University of Auckland during the holidays.

Sekola Likiliki and Angeline Venasio said the programme allowed them to explore different mathematical skills and apply it to real-life situations. The programme included a visit to the City Rail Link in Mt Eden, where the students were given a behind-the-scenes look at the engineering processes involved.

"We were assigned the task of building a tower using just spaghetti sticks and marshmallows and can proudly say that we won for the most innovative tower! We were challenged to think more critically and more in-depth, and to recognise the consequences of our choices.

The pair also found the university Calculus sessions challenging - but in a good way.

"Our sensei, Jeremy, did not take “I don't know” for an answer, encouraging us to become more confident and eventually we learnt how to trust ourselves more. At first, we were given the impression that it was hardcore work all throughout, but that was not the case. They balanced work and fun activities for us to get to know one another and enhance our thinking skills through physical activities. Overall, we were overjoyed with the many Pacific and Māori students who were up for the University life and the opportunities given to us to grow and flourish."

Angeline and Sekola say they would like their experience to encourage the Māori and Pacific Island students of Avondale College to stand up and take control of their future. "Let’s stand side by side with the world rather than behind!"

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