Teams from Clyde Quay School, St Mary’s College and Wellington East Girls College were announced Wellington regional winners of the inaugural Tahi Rua Toru Tech national championship at a ceremony last night.
The new digital technology championship launched in April with the backing of the Ministry of Education and is open to all New Zealand school students.
The competition encourages greater participation in technology and is designed to inform and inspire students, teachers, parents and their communities about the new Digital Technology & Hangarau Matihiko curriculum, currently being introduced at all primary and secondary school levels for Years 0-10 in 2020.
Tahi Rua Toru Tech is being delivered by a partnership of not-for profit organisations led by IT Professionals with support from Royal Society Te Apārangi, and is an extension of their highly successful programme TechHub CREST, which has been held for Year 9 and 10 students for three years. It involves small teams of students completing a project-based challenge either in-class in schools, or through a local Code Club.
Last night’s winners were announced for three levels of the championship: Bronze, Silver and Primary level.
Clyde Quay School team, JasMaRui, won the Primary award, for the website they created to assist the 87 students in their school for whom English is a second language, and the nine students who speak a language other than English at home (a total of 27 languages). The website for new families provides information that parents often ask about, in their own language.
Team Brogrammers from St Marys College were Bronze Challenge winners for their interactive and innovative app, Encourage Mint, designed to help teenagers get off their phones, and feel better at the same time.
The Silver Challenge winners, Wellington East Girls College team ASTAS, created an innovative way to improve attendance marking in schools, addressing the issue of schools and teachers constantly experiencing errors with the current system that include teachers missing students who are in class, and late students.
The winning teams will compete for the national title in their respective levels at the national finals event in Wellington on Wednesday 5 December, where all regional winners will show off their innovations.
All New Zealand children and young people should leave school with the basic understanding of digital technology essential in preparing them for the 21st century workforce, says Chief Executive of IT Professionals New Zealand, Paul Matthews.
“Tahi Rua Toru Tech sets out to provide a positive experience about this important subject before it becomes compulsory.
“Every student in New Zealand has to potential to shine in Tahi Rua Toru Tech – and in Digital Technology & Hangarau Matihiko curriculum.
“Successful technology solutions require the application of every skillset, including design, logic, art and people skills. It is particularly pleasing that the competition emphasizes team work, as students will be required to work in groups. Great solutions are not invented by individuals, they are created by teams of people working together to achieve a common goal,” said Matthews.