Students take the hands on approach

By Alex Gretgrix

STUDENTS from schools around the district have been taking on projects with their bare hands thanks to the Hands on Learning project.

St Joseph's College, Echuca Specialist School, Echuca College, Kyabram P-12 College and Rushworth P-12 College are taking part in the program which aims to give students with real-life skills, including goal setting, communication, leadership, teamwork, goal setting, initiative and creativity.

Recently, students from St Joseph's and Echuca Specialist School worked to build a pizza oven from the ground up on site at St Joseph's.

“It's been a great opportunity for the students to work together and learn skills they may not learn in the classroom,” artisan teacher Jamie Harding said.

“For the past six to seven weeks I've been working with the students, making sure the oven is built, but they did all the work themselves.”

Thanks to funding from the Moama Bowling Club and the School Focused Youth Service, the students had access to tools and materials they needed to make the project happen.

“The Bowling Club donated $10,000 which allowed us to buy the tools and trailer we've used throughout the project and School Focused Youth Service gave us $15,000 to share between all the projects,” he said.

Jamie travels to each of the schools and helps each group of students with their desired projects.

For the students, it was a great opportunity to make new friends while learning new skills as they went.

“We got to learn about concreting and brick laying, but we also had to be patient in between each step,” Echuca Specialist School Student Zach Melory said.

Jamie has also been working with Echuca College students to revamp recycled bikes and create a ‘gaga pit'.