Success at Tahi Rua Toru Tech

Winning app to get students off their cell phones

 It’s a real challenge these days to get students off their cell phones. A team of students from 10 Digital Technologies have developed a winning prototype app, Encourage Mint, to help teenagers wean themselves off their beloved cell phones and improve their mental health.

The Brogrammers won the Wellington Regional Competition for Tahi Rua Toru Tech, held on 1 November. Team members were Catherine Connolly, Maddie Heffernan, Chloe Tinney and Annie van Kampen. They wanted to address the issue of young people spending too much time on their phones and to help them feel better about themselves and happier through developing a fun, interactive and innovative app.

Tahi Rua Toru Tech is a digital technologies challenge to develop an app to solve a problem in the community. IT Professionals of New Zealand organised the challenge, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Royal Society, Digital Technologies Teachers of Aotearoa as well as industry partners who provided IT mentors.

Second place went to another St Mary’s College team, Quatre Amigos (Micole Marquez, Emily-Kei Brewerton, Yashka Rabichand and Mya Jones). They made a gamified app to make exercising more fun. It included a pedometer to record steps taken each day, and this was combined with walking trips around tourist attractions overseas. Rewards included ‘metre money’ for each ten steps, to enable players to purchase tickets to get to their next destination.

The top two teams in the Wellington Regional Finals, Brogrammers and Quatre Amigos, will compete at the National Tahi Rua Toru Finals, to be held at Te Papa on 5 December.

The other team representing St Mary’s College at the Wellington regionals was Hunger Busters (Alex Crampton, Orla Moss, Ahleea Hockings and Laura Radaich). They created SMC Tuck Shop, designed to make ordering food much easier and more efficient for both the seller and the buyer.  The SMC Tuck Shop app also aimed to cut down the amount of waste school tuck shops produce which would have a positive impact on our environment.

Tahi Rua Toru Tech was the focus for Term 3 in the 10 Digital Technologies classes. Teachers in Charge Genevieve Herder and Jocelyn Syme say the Challenge was a marvellous opportunity for students to develop their problem solving, computational thinking skills and project management skills as well as how to work effectively in a team.

The winners of the Wellington Regional Finals of Tahi Rua Toru Tech proudly wear their medals and hold the winner’s trophy. From left: Maddie Heffernan, Chloe Tinney, Annie van Kampen and Catherine Connolly.