Early in 2015 Daniel Gorman, a teacher at Te Waka Unua Technology Centre, was looking for a project for a group of students from Cashmere Primary School. The students came into the city to explore some of the Gap Filler projects and other projects around the city.

“It was really awesome going out and seeing what other people have done for their Gap Filler projects. It gave us some great ideas for our child friendly design” – Poppy, student.

The students came up with the idea to design and build an obstacle course.
Engineers from Rileys Consultants provided engineering advice for the project including public safety. Their design process included brainstorming ideas, expanding ideas and researching, developing 1:10 scale models and then making and testing full size models. Gap Filler provided feedback on the design in terms of it’s public use and maintenance, as well as hosting the course at The Commons over the summer.

“The ideas that the students came up with were great and the practical solutions to the issues we raised about portability, durability and caretaking of the obstacles were refreshing and creative. It was great to see all the students involved in making, problem solving and celebrating their work at the end of the build” – Sally Airey, Gap Filler Project Coordinator.

Within minutes of opening the obstacle course it was obvious that it was popular with young children. Groups of kids often re-arrange the designed elements to create their own course and sometimes incorporate other pieces from the RSF to extend it.

“I loved the fact that we got to work on something real” – Henry, student.
“It was really fun watching the little kid running around the course” – Sam, student.

The students gained a merit award for their project in the 2015 Neighbourhood Engineers Award. This experience has also given the students an opportunity to participate and contribute to their community in a very real way and enabled them to have a civic voice in how a public space can be used.

Special thanks goes to Daniel Gorman, Cashmere Primary School Year 7 and 8 students Sam Ward, Daniel Ward, Charlotte Doogue, Henry Allott, James Watson, Inigo Holmes, Francesca Gallaway and Poppy Blake-Manson and Emma Turner and Jacob Couprie from Rileys Consultants.