Marist College Ashgrove
What do you get when you cross a passion for racing and an Industrial Technology and Design teacher?
You get some thrilling, real-world lessons outside of the classroom, and some very engaged students.
Building and racing go karts, assembling a Westfield Sports Kit Car car and taking part in an award-winning program which sees students constructing car ports, cubby houses, and paving driveways and bricklaying, are just some of the learning opportunities that have been made available to Marist College Ashgrove (MCA) pupils.
The school’s Industrial Technology and Design (ITD) coordinator Andrew Devoy is behind the real-world lessons and a push to ensure MCA is at the forefront of technology.
The MCA Trade Training Centre manager coordinates the college’s blood donation drive and he’s active in the school’s MATES programme which serves the homeless.
“This school is all about giving back and providing that service to the community,” Andrew says.
His tireless efforts and innovative leadership have seen him nominated for a Queensland College of Teachers Excellence in Teaching Award this year.
I had a great teacher back when I was in school and I loved what I did, which was designing and building, so I thought this was a good avenue to go into.
Four years ago he was approached by the Smith Foundation to be a foundation school for go kart building and racing.
“We buy a go kart kit but you can’t use the frame, each school has to fabricate their own frame so the students get to use their metal work and engineering skills. They put the go kart together and we assemble all the gear on to it and then we race once a year in Week 3 in Term 4,” Andrew says.
“They absolutely have a ball. As a reward for all their hard work we also take the students on track day down at the Gold Coast 600 down on that Friday.”
He has also helped students build a Formula One car.
Students benefit from his relentless drive to ensure the school has cutting-edge technology, including 3D printers, lasers and router cutters, and real-world lessons.
The college’s VET engineering and construction subjects have been recognised in the Construction Skills Queensland Awards, in which MCA has been a finalist in for the past three years, including winning once.
“The students have one day out of ten where they go and work on real-world applications or projects around the school, and that may range from car ports to paving to landscaping. They are doing cubby houses at the moment, so it is programming we are delivering that has been good enough to be recognised by Construction Skills Queensland,” Andrew says.
Congratulations Andrew on being a finalist.