BCITO’s Build-Ability Challenge for schools kicks off in May


The BCITO’s tagline and philosophy of “Building People” starts right at the beginning when future carpenters are still at secondary school. 

The BCITO Build-Ability Challenge is a nationwide, school-based competition, open to secondary school-aged students.

It’s aimed at pupils with skills in technology who may be interested in pursuing a career in the construction industry. It’s also a strategy for the BCITO to further build relationships with schools, careers counsellors and technology teachers.

This year’s challenge kicks off on May 4. Twenty-nine schools are lucky enough to have been successful in securing their place in the challenge.

Each school will have a team of up to five students, whose task is to work together to plan, design, cost and build a playhouse to defined specifications. The playhouses must have a distinctive theme and be safe and fit-for-purpose, as well as showcasing the construction skills of the team.

As the name suggests, Build-Ability aims to challenge students. Completing the challenge requires that teams excel in aptitude and attitude. Competitors will need to think creatively, work collaboratively and keep to timelines throughout the competition.

Documenting each team’s progress online throughout the challenge is an initiative that was introduced in 2014’s Build-Ability competition. Teams will be blogging each week at www.buildability.co.nz, from May to August, during the build phase of the competition.

The public will be able to visit this site and cast their votes on the finished playhouses to choose the winner of the “People’s Choice” category.
Prizes up for grabs include $1000 for the overall winners, a “classroom shout” for the People’s Choice award, and a GoPro camera for the winners of the best video blog entry.

The BCITO reintroduced this competition last year, with just nine schools competing. It was so successful that it’s been opened up this year to a larger group of competitors.

Each team will be mentored by teachers and supported by BCITO skills brokers. Build-Ability also provides students with a chance to be the heroes of their school campus and local community with a focus on giving back.

Creating projects to raise money for local community groups, students develop self-confidence, self-esteem and a sense of ambassadorship for their school.

Best of luck to all the schools competing in this year’s challenge. If last year’s competition is anything to go by, we look forward to seeing some amazingly creative and well-constructed playhouses.

It’s going to be full on and, no doubt, a nationwide battle will ensue between the top technology students from the following schools:

Awatapu College
Central Hawkes Bay College
Dannevirke High School
Feilding High School
Forest View High School
Howick College
Hutt Valley High School
Kaikorai Valley College
Kamo High School
Kerikeri High School
Mana College
Manurewa High School
Middleton Grange School
Opotiki College
Otahuhu College
Queen Charlotte College
Riccarton High School
Rongotai College
Rosehill College
Rotorua Boys High School
South Otago High School
Takapuna Grammar School
Tamatea High School
Tararua College
Thames High School
Tuakau College
Waiopehu College
Waitara High School
Waiuku College