Ayla Carey's desire to enter the air force and serve her country has been strengthened by her research into the Battle of Passchendaele.
The Tauranga Girls' College student and her fellow Year 13 history peers were given the task of researching one topic from a list given to them earlier this year and Ayla was one of a group of teenagers who chose the campaign of World War I.
In commemoration of the campaign's 100 year anniversary, Tauranga Girls College this week erected their Field of Remembrance featuring crosses with names of war heroes at the school this week.
Ayla, 17, said her motivation to find out more about the Battle of Passchendaele was her own lack of knowledge.
"I didn't know a lot about the topic, I was interested to find out more about it because my dad knew about it and would often talk about the history and I felt the need to find out more," Ayla said.
"I guess the most surprising [information she found] is just how many people died there, the human cost within the first two hours ... 2000 people injured, killed or missing," she said.
It was information such as this which pushed her even more to pursue a career in the air force so she could serve her country in roles of a medic or her secondary path as a communications specialist.
During her research, Ayla realised she was not the only one of her peers who was uneducated about New Zealand's involvement in the Battle of Passchendaele and hoped more people would become motivated to learn like she was.
"It's our duty."
Tauranga Girls' College head of social science Murray Armstrong said the crosses used in the Field of Remembrance were made by students in 2015. He said students in the wood technology classes created the crosses, the art students painted them and the history students researched the fallen soldiers and their ranks.