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Kapiti College kicks off the regionís EcoHut Challenge
7 March
Kapiti College students interweaving willow to form the EcoHut structure

Building on their success in 2010 (pardon the pun), Kapiti College Year 12 Technology students are gearing up to design and create an EcoHut over the next few weeks.

Their mission is to provide an ecological hut for Andrew Walmsley, a cancer patient and CanTeen member, to use as a creative/meditation space at his home in the Otaki Gorge.

"The hut will be made out of willow, collected from a local business in Otaki, to create an amazing living structure for Andrew, who is now in remission", says teacher, Kerie Holmes.

The students are working within a set of parameters: the budget for materials is $100 tops; the floor area must be no more than 3m2, ceiling a maximum of 2m high, and floor no more than 1m off the ground; and all materials must be from natural and sustainable sources.

After researching and designing the hut on paper and screen, the students will create a scale model, which will be on display at the Kapiti Sustainable Home and Garden Show (26-27 March). Then the final build, expected to take two days, will be carried out on site.

"Students really love to apply their learning and problem-solving skills in a practical and creative way", says Kerie. "And they get to do something that has meaning and benefit for one of their peers.

"This project is also a fundraiser for CanTeen Ė we would love Kapiti Coasters to assist by donating at".

Last year's students received 'Outstanding Teamwork' and 'Diverse Habitat' awards, as part of the national EcoHut Challenge, hosted by the Enviroschools Foundation. This year during Terms 2 and 3, Kapiti College will be the hosts of a regional Challenge for intermediate and secondary schools in the Greater Wellington area.

"Invitations, resources, contacts and workshops for teachers and students will be rolled out in Term 2 Ė watch this space!" enthuses Kerie.

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