The competition, Tahi Rua Toru Tech aims to inspire and inform students, teachers, parents and their communities about the new Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content.
The curriculum is currently being introduced to all school and kura in New Zealand, with the expectation that it will be taught by 2020. The Ministry of Education is keen to see the competition provide a positive experience for students before that milestone.
Deputy Secretary Early Learning and Student Achievement Ellen MacGregor-Reid says students do not need to have any prior digital technologies experience or knowledge to participate.
“The emphasis of Tahi Rua Toru Tech is on creating solutions for real-world problems – it is not about learning how to use a device or an application.”
Tahi Rua Toru Tech will be delivered by a partnership of not-for profit organisations led by IT Professionals and Royal Society Te Apārangi. It is an extension of TechHub CREST, which has been held for Year 9 and 10 students for three years. Among the winning student entries in this competition are an app for colour blindness, an online game about nutrition and an app to assist people suffering from Alzheimers.
Tahi Rua Toru Tech is team-based and will take place in ten regions over ten weeks. Students have two opportunities to participate – in term 2 or term 3. There will be regional winners, who will compete for the national championship, which will take place in November. There is also a “people’s choice award” for those students who provide the most compelling content – such as photographs, videos and blog posts – to support their entry to the competition website 123tech.nz.
MacGregor-Reid says every student in New Zealand has potential to shine in Tahi Rua Toru Tech.
“This is not only a challenge for students who are “good at maths”; successful digital technologies solutions require the application of every skillset, including design, logic, art and people skills.
“It is particularly pleasing that the challenge 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.”