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Students’ recycled stones rocket out school door...

Courtesy of Te Awamutu Courier
Thomas Te Whare and Toni Blundell
SITTING on the stump of the school’s old magnolia tree, Korakonui Room 7 students Thomas Te Whare and Toni Blundell play a game of noughts and crosses with some of the 500kg of stones they processed and a board made of wood recycled from the tree. 321051AD

By Cathy Asplin

The value of a well crafted infomercial to sell a repackaged product was clearly demonstrated at Korakonui School by the ‘Rock-It Riverstones Company’.

With Rocket Man, River Deep-Mountain High and the Rolling Stones playing in the background, Room 7 students launched into an enthusiastic presentation of their products utilising humour, audience participation and persuasive advertising terminology to the best effect.

Clearly the infomercial worked - as the presentation ended a stampede was on to secure Rock-It Riverstones products. Within minutes the Korakonui School multi-purpose room was cleaned out of doormats, candles, table runners, sculptures, games and paper weights, providing a healthy profit of $2500 for the fledgling company.

Room 7 teacher Melinda Loader says a similar project in 2003, utilising paua shells, proved so successful that they decided to turn the business venture unit into a biennial event.

While the project launch was over in a relatively short time, the work beforehand to set up their company, develop products and market them took considerably longer Students spent around 14 weeks setting budgets, sourcing goods, developing innovative products, manufacturing them to a high standard and finally marketing them.

Their ‘recycled’ rock products were initially inspired by a trivet made from stones, which was purchased by a school parent. In all 500kg of raw product (takutai riverstones) was utilised to create the Rock-It Riverstones range.

While all items proved popular, the ‘jewel’ in the Rock-It Riverstones crown was surely a noughts and crosses game. The game featured a solid base made of wood from a magnolia tree which had been struck by lightning and removed from the school grounds around 18 months ago. The noughts and crosses pieces also received a contemporary twist with the use of Mandy Moon shapes.

No doubt the impressive profit made from all of the products will mean the Rock-It Riverstones Company corporate outing this year will really ‘rock’.