We've all seen juicers for sale in appliance stores and some of us might even own one, but have you ever heard of an automated juice shaker that drives the finished product to you?

That's what four students from Whenuakura School in Patea made when they won the EPro8 Challenge Taranaki grand final in New Plymouth last week.

It was vindication for South Taranaki's Isobelle Sorenson, Oliver Crawford, Lorcan Honeyfield and Jack Hurley who came up agonisingly short in the 2018 final finishing second.

Whenuakura School principal Kat Haerewa said she was very proud of the team.

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"We're a small rural school, but I think it's that number eight wire attitude that came into play," Haerewa said.

Students use a combination of engineering, problem solving and innovative skills to complete challenges from a booklet. Photo / Supplied
Students use a combination of engineering, problem solving and innovative skills to complete challenges from a booklet. Photo / Supplied

"They jumped up straight away when they were announced as the winners. On the way home one of them said 'I can't believe it, we're just a bunch of country kids'. They were overjoyed."

EPro8 pits 12 teams of four students against each other in a series of challenges requiring engineering, problem solving and innovative skills.

Each team has a workstation containing equipment such as gears, wheels, pulleys, joiners, nuts, bolts, tools, aluminium framing, motors and electronics.

They are then given a booklet with four challenges inside that have varying levels of difficulty. They can choose which ones to take on, trying to earn as many points as possible in a two and a half hour time limit.

Haerewa said she was keen to get Whenuakura School on board with the competition because of the required skills involved.

The finished product, an automated juice shaker that can drive the juice right to you. Photo / Supplied
The finished product, an automated juice shaker that can drive the juice right to you. Photo / Supplied

"Part of our vision is to build future-focused learners and to prepare them for whatever it is that they want to do," she said.

"This is something that they're passionate about. They like making things, they like building things and we follow their passion."

Up to 100 people attended the Taranaki final at Sacred Heart Girls' College in New Plymouth where Whenuakura finished on top of Lepperton and Patea Area schools.

Six people went in support of Whenuakura and Haerewa said it was an exciting finish.

"They have the points running on a screen throughout the competition, so we knew we were in with a chance of winning, but it was very close," Haerewa said.

"One parent was actually biting her nails because it was so nerve-racking. We couldn't speak, we just observed and had to see them through their struggles.

"It was really exciting to see their smiles at the end."

The students received certificates and a trophy with moveable parts for their efforts.