By David Hill
The Community Bike Hub offers an innovative school program with hands-on project-based learning delivering results for students, teachers, and the community. Currently included as part of the year 9 program at Footscray High School, the course removes students from the traditional classroom to a real-life workshop environment.
The course provides unique community connections for the students, including the opportunity to work with Community Bike Hub volunteers and students from Victoria University’s Youth Work course. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to create positive relationships with young role models and develop a sense of opportunities beyond school” said Kellie Catanese, Assistant Principal at Footscray High School’s Barkly Campus.
Students find the program fun and different. Participants who have trouble being motivated at school, find their engagement increased through the experience of working in an adult environment, and doing authentic tasks with real-work impacts. Developing their technical skills and using tools to strip a bike into components to rebuild, leads to the satisfaction of seeing a completed bike fit for donatio at the end of the course.
The fully documented curriculum uses mechanics, not teachers, to lead part of the program and gives students the experience they need. Students work at their own pace, problem solving and experiencing successes but also dealing with, and learning from, failures.
The program is designed to not only develop students’ mechanical skills, but also to get them thinking about consumerism and the many facets of the circular economy such as recycling rather than throwing reusable items away. “A great way to learn about this stuff is to experience it and think about it in a broader sense” said Mr Dom Zylka, General Manager, Community Bike Hub. “The hundreds of bikes we save from landfill create a priceless opportunity for students to consider the state of our society and ask questions.”
The program provides capability-based learning with significant impacts on critical and creative thinking and personal and social capabilities. The capabilities and skills developed are transferable across many pathways and at the end of their two-week course, students receive a certificate to support their career pathway.
Students can continue their learning by volunteering with the Community Bike Hub, with opportunities to develop the skills necessary for employment in the bike industry. “We would love to see more students find employment in an industry that is absolutely booming and offers many exciting career pathways” Dom said.
If you’re interested in engaging with the Community Bike Hub at your school, contact:
Dominik Zylka, General Manager Community Bike Hub, 0404070911 email@example.com
4 Mills Close Footscray (between VU and Footscray Park)
Or visit the shop where you can get your bike serviced, or buy bikes, parts and accessories.
38–40 Moreland St Footscray, firstname.lastname@example.org