A group of Selwyn House School students came up with the innovative #LetsBikeChch school project last year as a way to promote the city’s cycleway network.
Nine girls (some of whom are now at Christchurch Girls' High School) used a laser cutter and 3D printer to create the original bike-shaped designs which were later made into more durable steel versions by East Coast Steelwork Ltd.
Seventeen of these metal shapes have been painted in eye-catching colours and, in some cases decorated with pom poms, by students at Medbury School, Waimairi School, Fendalton Open-air School, Ilam School, Paparoa Street School, and Elmwood Normal School as well as Selwyn House School and Selwyn House Pre-school.
The cut-outs have been installed on the Northern Line and Papanui Parallel bike routes by Christchurch City Council contractor Fulton Hogan, and yesterday a launch party supported by the Council and Fulton Hogan was held to celebrate the project reaching its final phase.
There’s an extra reason to hunt for the bike shapes this week, because people can take selfies with one of them, upload the photo to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #letsbikechristchurch and go in the draw to win bike-themed prizes provided by the Council.
The Selwyn House project has won international honours at the Future Problem Solving International Conference in the United States and praise from the Council which is building a network of 13 major cycle routes round the city.
Council Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee Chair Pauline Cotter says the students’ efforts are impressive. “We really appreciate that these young people have come up with an idea to spread the word about our cycle routes and get more families out on their bikes. It’s a unique, eye-catching initiative and it shows what children can achieve when they’re really passionate about something.”
Selwyn House Teacher Adele Staples, who has worked with the students on the project, says the girls have learned a huge amount through the process.
“They’ve liked the idea that they’ve been able to make a change in their community. They’ve found out more about what’s happening and discovered that students can make a difference, not just adults, which is really cool.