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Cranking up classroom activities

By UCOL on Wednesday, 07 December 2016

A person riding a peddle board

West End School students will be able to zip around the playground on new peddle boards thanks in part to UCOL Mechanical Engineering Lecturer Ray Banks.

Ray assisted the West End School Boys’ Mentoring Programme in constructing fifteen peddle boards for student use. He acted as the engineering consultant, working alongside representatives from Manawatu Menz Shed.
West End School teacher Paul Davis, who runs the school’s Boys’ Mentoring Programme, needed steel cranks for the boards, but purchasing them brand new was beyond the programme’s budget.
He approached Ray to make some cranks on the suggestion of one Ray’s former students. If Paul could supply the steel, Ray would volunteer his time.
“Ray was happy to help, and within a few days he had made a sample crank for us,” says Paul.
“It is very difficult to run a boys’ programme like this without the equipment and support from outside the school. Without Ray’s willingness to help us, the project wouldn’t have been a success.”
Ray used the project to demonstrate to his own students at UCOL how to use jigs and formers to bend metal.
“You can show them pictures and give them written information, but students learn more when they can see something happening.” 
Ray said that it was an enjoyable project to be involved in and he was glad to help the boys.
“Being able to give back to the kids anyway you can feels good.”
“It just goes to show that you don’t need thousands of dollars to make things. You can just use simple materials.”
The boards will be used for classroom activities.
The West End School Boys’ Mentoring Programme works with organisations such as Manawatu Menz Shed, the Manawatu Turbos, and the New Zealand Police to teach the boys the importance of respect – for themselves and others – and about being a positive male role model.