Tamatea High students with their award-winning playhouse, which was donated to Morgan Educare Centre in Flaxmere. Photo: BCITO.

Tamatea High School in Napier has won $1000 worth of prizes in the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation's (BCITO) annual national "Build-Ability Challenge".

Rotorua Boys’ High School were the big winners in the nationwide competition, in which 24 schools had to not only design and build a playhouse to be gifted to a local community group, but also had to maintain a video diary and blog about their progress throughout the challenge.

Rotorua Boys' won all three of the national awards - the Supreme title, People's Choice award and Best Video award - for an impressive castle-themed playhouse for Kidz Rock Early Learning Centre. The school was awarded a $1,000 voucher for their Technology Department, a GoPro camera for the school and individual prize packs for each team member. They were also awarded a “team shout” to the value of $300.

Tamatea High won the Best Decorated Playhouse Award, sponsored by Dulux, who have donated the school various paint products to the value of $1,000 for its pinkish-purple playhouse, which was recently delivered to Morgan Educare Centre in Flaxmere.

David Thompson (HOD technology at Tamatea High School) was asked some questions this afternoon

What skills do you think the students picked up during the challenge?

“The most important was the planning stage – the students had to foresee potential problems and improve their practical skills… they also knew they had to make it work from a safety point of view for the kindergarten kids.”

Why did you choose to donate the playhouse to the kindergarten?

“We knew of this kindergarten –it’s in a fairly low socioeconomic area and they really needed to replace an older playhouse. When this competition came about it was a perfect opportunity to brighten their day and they were absolutely delighted.”

What was the kids’ reaction to winning?

“The students were very happy – it was the icing on the cake after a very challenging project.”