Hero photograph
Photo by Katana Dunn

Opportunities to grow Technologist

Mr K Dunn —

Growing NZ is a countrywide opportunity for students to develop their understanding of technology, science and business. They are able to compete either in in-class challenges or in a one-day event.

The Growing NZ innovation challenge is a one-day event for teams of Y10 students. The challenge required students to apply their subject knowledge and build a prototype solution to a real-life situation being faced by one of New Zealand's largest export industries. This year Burnside had 10 Digital Technologies students competing. Below is some of the students' experiences.

" We worked in teams of four, that were made up of students from different schools, two from each. My team contained students from Burnside High as well as Lincoln High. The challenge that we were given was called forestry trace-ability. The problem that we had to solve was that the forestry industry has no way of accurately tracing wood back to the forest that it was grown in. To aid us in solving the challenge we had an industry expert who explained the problem and helped us with the practicality of our ideas. The experience was beneficial as it gave me an opportunity to learn how to work with people that I had never met before, to create and market an idea and to solve a real world problem. " - Larissa

" Once the expert had explained the issue, our group was given time to brainstorm possible solutions and create a quick prototype. After that we were asked to create a presentation of our solution that we would show the expert and all the other groups that were also tasked to solve the trace-ability problem."

"Kevin and I were assigned to a wool expert. And tasked with finding a way of raising the extremely low wool prices. Oh, and there was free food, which was of course the best part." - Stephen

"Ananya and I were paired up with two other girls from St. Andrew's College and we were given one of four tasks, and ours was to find a way to encourage youth to go into primary industries. We were provided with an hour and a half to work on the task until we had to present in front of a small audience. The lunch was delicious, on point. Then we were chosen by our industry expert to present our work in front of everyone as Adrian thought it was the best of the group. The organizer gave us $25 voucher to share. " - Ai

"At the end of the day, those who had the best solution for their problem presented it to everyone at the event. I really enjoyed this event and found it very interesting to learn about all these problems and the solutions that I, myself, would not have imagined. If possible, I would like to attend similar events in the future."