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Aggregate & Quarry Association

Waikato school rocks

A Cambridge primary school and one in Palmerston North have taken away the prizes in a national competition centred on turning a former quarry into a community asset.

The Rock our Future competition, now in its second year, is run by the Aggregate and Quarry Association. AQA CEO Wayne Scott says what stood out was the efforts made by two classes in year 6 at Leamington Primary School in Cambridge and by two year 7&8 classes at Newbury School in Palmerston North.

“The entries came back in the form of physical structures, minecraft builds, and another was a video game software virtual build!”

Theodore Goodwin and Flynn Jenkins from year 6 at Leamington Primary School suggested making a former quarry site into a history museum. “We decided to make a New Zealand History Museum because where we live, in Cambridge, we don’t have any large museums,’ the boys said in their entry.  They planned the museum to be environmentally sustainable and even built in a business case. “The museum is made out of non-corrosive metal. It is solar powered. The cafe uses electronic stoves and the hot pools are geothermal.  It would make a great profit to pay for expenses including; food, workers, repairs, etc. No littering policies. 15 percent of earnings go to charity.”

Rose Hobbs, Hayley Taylor and Jake Vierboom from Leamington School also won a prize for their entry which proposed using a former quarry to build a community house where homeless people and families could live.

Each of the four national team winners receive $1,000 each for their school and $100 prize for themselves.

The brief for the children was Big Rock Solutions which had completed extracting rock, and now wanted a sustainable, environmentally sensitive project that would bring benefit to the local community and considered neighbours.

Schools were advised to encourage their pupils to research and make contact with a local quarry and use real-life examples, including, if possible, a quarry that had finished extracting or was getting close. That said, the quarry could be located anywhere in the country.

Wayne Scott says as well as the efforts children put into all the entries, teachers and parents who supported them also deserve to be acknowledged. He says this Rock our Future competition was made more challenging to organise and judge on its second run because of Covid-19 but the AQA was looking to run it again next year.

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