Impact Projects

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What are Impact Projects?
There is really only one way to learn how to do something, and that is to do it. (Prof R Schank.)

Igniting Passions

Students of today enter an increasingly globalised world where they must be technologically literate, good communicators, great collaborators. The new work environment requires responsibility and self-management, as well as interpersonal and project-management skills that demand teamwork and leadership,' (adapted from Pearlman, 2005).


Engineering student Danny Cloete on impact projects.

A free content video streamed from Vimeo
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[Albany Senior High School ].

You will not have to wait until you leave school to realise your dreams and passions. Impact projects provide you with the opportunity and space to take charge of your own learning to do just that. You will be able to deepen your specialist subject understanding and even go beyond what can be offered by the school curriculum to enrich your learning and your community.

Impact projects are highly structured, project-based learning experiences that you develop in teams or individually with guidance from your mentors at school and in consultation with experts in the community. Through these collaborations you will develop the skills, attributes and networks needed for success now and beyond school. On completion you will present your project and evidence of your learning journey to an audience in an engaging, authentic way. You and your community will evaluate your final product and learning against criteria based on SOLOs taxonomy and the four principles of successful impact projects. These criteria are developed to measure the level of your success and may also include, but is not limited to, NCEA standards.

Check out this tutorial which will introduce you to some of the structures, processes and resources that will maximise the quality of your learning and impact project product at ASHS. 


How it all works

Structuring impact projects for maximum learning and high quality products involves three distinct phases:

  1. proposal
  2. progressing the plan
  3. presenting and evaluating.

Learning about these three phases and what you can do in them gives the greatest chance for a project's success, both in terms of learning and the product you create. Throughout the three phases, you will work with your mentor and group members with a variety of tools and processes to get the most out of your project.

Impact project cycle.png

Impact projects alongside inter/national awards

Impact projects have the flexibility to work alongside other award systems, for example CREST and Duke of Edinburgh.

An example of this is demonstrated in the following document outlining how DoE/Impact works in our school.


In addition to this your project can also be used as evidence to achieve appropriate NCEA standards. You should talk to your project mentor, tutor and specialist subject teachers about how you can make this happen.

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You are working with a local boat builder to gain practical knowledge as well as insights into possible future pathways. To recognize your learning as part of this Gateway programme you will be completing the standard, ‘Demonstrate knowledge of workplace health and safety requirements’ level one.