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Students to ‘launch’ exhibition

4 July 2013

Students to ‘launch’ exhibition

Who doesn’t want to build a real catapult? The 16 local school students who have taken up the chance to build scale Roman Onager torsion catapults do, that’s for sure.

UCOL is running the catapult-building programme as part of the Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR), created to allow Year 11-13 students the opportunity to explore their potential and help give direction to their further education or employment.

UCOL Head of School for the Built Environment Danny Reilly says the STAR programme is being run in conjunction with Te Manawa to celebrate the opening of the Roman Machines exhibition on 13 July.

“For these motivated school students with an interest in history or who just like to get hands on, they will gain new skills in team work, engineering, and an appreciation of Roman technology.

“Seeing youth move successfully from school into tertiary education is really important to us, and these students get to have a taste of what tertiary education is like so there is less fear of the unknown.”

The students have completed two theory sessions at Te Manawa and will start building the catapults this Friday at UCOL’s Trades & Technology Centre in Palmerston North. They will then complete the building on Friday 12 July, before testing the structures in The Square on Saturday 13 July – the opening day of Te Manawa’s Roman Machines exhibition.

The test day in The Square will see the students competing against each other to see who gets the best performance out of their catapult.

The catapults will be on display in The Square from 10am and the winner of the competition will be presented with a ‘roman medal’ at an Olympic ceremony at Te Manawa later in the day.

Te Manawa Chief Executive Andy Lowe says, “One of the things I love about this is the synergy between UCOL, Te Manawa, the schools, 22AD, volunteers, ITM who supplied materials. It’s about energy and creating an incredible experience together out of pure passion.”

All UCOL campuses offer STAR programmes. For more info on the trades programmes UCOL offers please visit

For more information about Te Manawa’s Roman Machines exhibit please visit


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