TAP lab Mobile 2023 10 05

TAP lab sparks innovation in Te Atatū Intermediate students

An exciting collaboration between TAP lab and the intermediate school is nurturing the next generation of technologists in Te Atatū.

Centrally located in the community centre, TAP lab is a makerspace. It’s a place where people interested in technology come together to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment and knowledge.

‘We provide free or affordable access to specialised equipment and technology,’ explains TAP lab’s Corinne Kubik. The specialist equipment available at the lab includes laser cutters, 3D printers, embroidery machines, sewing machines, vinyl cutters and much more.

Corinne advises that TAP lab also helps people to use technology and provides training. The lab runs an exciting programme of workshops and events. Take your pick from mad machine makers, cosplay, or hack-n-snack tech evenings. The ever-popular Minecraft mayhem sessions are always a hit with people of all ages. There’s also something for younger techies with regular hacklings sessions. Families explore together, discovering, solving, and creating using the lab’s tools and resources.

And now, TAP lab has a dedicated programme for Te Atatū Intermediate School students. According to Corinne, a teacher approached the lab following an expo for intermediate school students. ‘We showcased our makerspace facilities at the expo, which sparked an interest in the students,’ she reports.

In partnership with the intermediate school, TAP lab has developed a programme of weekly sessions for groups of around 15 students at a time. The sessions are hands-on, with plenty of collaborative project-based learning.

According to Corinne, the children have been very creative, developing 3D designs and bringing them to life with the 3D printer. Others have designed and printed their own T-shirts, and some have rebuilt donated laptops. ‘Our goal is to engage the students and their families through the creative community and resources we provide,’ advises Corinne.

This exciting and rewarding initiative has been made possible thanks to $6,000 from the Your West Support Fund. ‘We aren’t charging the school for using our makerspace or equipment. And we keep materials costs low by using donations or off-cuts,’ Corinne reports. She adds that usually, TAP lab expects people participating in sessions to pay a koha. However, the Te Atatū Intermediate programme is delivered free to students.

The Your West Support Fund covers the costs of providing two TAP lab facilitators for the sessions. The facilitators share their knowledge and expertise and guide the students as they explore and create.

Thanks to this innovative partnership, Te Atatū Intermediate School students can develop expertise in cutting-edge technology for success in their learning and future careers.