The national winners of Tahi Rua Toru Tech, New Zealand’s Digital Challenge, were announced yesterday by Dr Michelle Dickinson, aka Nanogirl, at a special ceremony at Te Papa in Wellington. Tahi Rua Toru Tech is a new digital technology championship, open to all New Zealand school and Kura students, which launched in April this year.

The finalists – teams representing regions from around the country – impressed the judges at the regional finals in October and November, earning them a place at the final event to compete for the national title.

Yesterday’s winners hailed from Christchurch, Rotorua and Auckland, taking home over $15,000 in cash prizes for the students and their schools.

Primary Challenge winners, Arahoe Coders from Arahoe School, Auckland: The team competed against one other team in an interactive challenge on stage during yesterday’s event, completing five mini challenges in the fastest time.

First Challenge winners, The Mish from Hillview Christian School, Christchurch: The team created a digital solution to help an existing volunteer group called the MISH streamline their process by making it easier for them to pick food up from local restaurants and deliver it to the City Mission.

Bronze Challenge winners, Team JPC Vibranium, John Paul College, Rotorua: The Vibranium created a role-playing survival game set in a 3D environment to promote mental health awareness to students their age.

Silver Challenge winners, Team Lunar Eclipse – Starless Night, Westlake Girls High School:Team Lunar Eclipse designed a game to create awareness around pollution.

Championship ambassador, Dr Michelle Dickinson said the level of insight and solutions-focused thinking from all finalists was impressive.

“The projects on show were truly inspiring and show New Zealand has a promising digital technology future in hands like these. Tahi Rua Toru Tech proves digital technologies are not just about coding, it’s about problem solving, creativity and team work – there’s something for everyone!”

The competition, which has the backing of the Ministry of Education, is designed to encourage greater participation in technology and inform and inspire students, teachers, parents and their communities about the new Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content.

The curriculum content is currently being introduced at all primary and secondary school and Kura levels for Years 1-13 in 2020.

Ministry of Education Deputy Secretary Ellen MacGregor-Reid says the championship is there to provide a positive ‘dip your toe in the water’ experience to teachers, Kaiako and students.

“We hope the winning ideas from this challenge inspire other schools and Kura to sign up for 2019.”

Chief Executive, IT Professionals New Zealand, Paul Matthews agrees.

“We’ve had a hugely positive response from teachers and students around the Challenge in which students of all abilities and with all interests have a role to play – and we look forward to next year’s entries that are sure to impress once again.”

Banner Image: Dr Michelle Dickinson aka Nanogirl, Ian Taylor, Chief executive of Animation Research Ltd and Ellen MacGregor-Reid, Ministry of Education Deputy Secretary with the 123Tech 2018 winners.


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