More than 500 high school students from all over the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and South Auckland came to the University of Waikato this week for the annual Year 10 Day, many of them setting foot on a university campus for the first time.
The 14 and 15 year olds enjoyed a proper student experience, taking part in science and engineering challenges, participating in mock trials in the law courtroom and testing out the computer gaming area, as well as eating lunch in the accommodation halls, and taking part in dance, haka and music activities.
For Te Wharekura o Ngā Purapura o Te Aroha student Matariki Hughes, the trip was a good chance to learn more about careers involving writing.
“My favourite subjects are English and History – or anything to do with writing really,” Matariki says. “It’s cool to see that there are different career options in those areas. I’d love to be a teacher one day, but I haven’t figured out which age group I want to teach.”
But because of Year 10 Day, Matariki also developed an interest in engineering, after taking part in a challenge where students built towers using skewers and marshmallows. She was in the winning group for the tallest tower, and it changed her perspective on the subject.
“It made me think about engineering in a different way,” she says. “I always thought it was just about fixing cars and machines, but there’s a really cool design side to it. It’s something I would consider studying now that I know more about it.”
Ngā Taiātea Wharekura student Hakono Poutapu-Matenga says it was the chemistry labs that sparked his interest the most.
“We got to look at the labs and learn about the different types of science you can go into – it was really fun, and made me consider becoming a biochemist,” Hakono says. “I’ve liked spending the day on campus – I want to give a big mihi to everyone who organised Year 10 Day!”
Year 10 Day is held every year at the University of Waikato. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.