Hackathon suc­cess for Dun­stan stu­dents

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Five Dun­stan High School sci­ence stu­dents’ startup idea that earned them sec­ond place in New Zealand’s first hackathon event is tak­ing them to France.

The stu­dents were sur­prised with the news at their school assem­bly on Fri­day.

Ac­tInS­pace NZ Event Di­rec­tor Kelsi Doscher said the 24-hour hackathon - Ac­tInS­pace NZ - held in Christchurch last month, asked par­tic­i­pants to reimag­ine uses for ex­ist­ing space tech­nol­ogy and ap­ply space data to new ap­pli­ca­tions. The New Zealand event was one of 71 sim­i­lar events that took place si­mul­ta­ne­ously around the world.

The judges, men­tors and or­gan­is­ers were im­pressed by the cre­ative and com­mer­cial savvy pitch from the stu­dents, she said.

‘‘They pitched an aug­mented re­al­ity app that would al­low artists a place to con­nect to com­mer­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties while re­duc­ing graf­fiti in the real world.’’

The win­ning team will travel to France on June 27 to pitch their startup idea to an in­ter­na­tional panel of judges at the Ac­tInS­pace In­ter­na­tional Fi­nal at the Toulouse Space Show.

While not about to com­pete in the fi­nal, The New Zealand Space Agency and CSST had worked with Air­bus in France to fa­cil­i­tate an op­por­tu­nity for the stu­dents to pitch their idea dur­ing the Toulouse Space Show.

‘‘They won’t com­pete in the fi­nal but will be able to pitch their idea in front of an in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence of startup in­vestors and key space in­dus­try play­ers and learn from the ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN/STUFF

Chief fire of­fi­cer Rus­sell Anderson has re­ceived the Queen’s Ser­vice Medal for ser­vices to fire and emer­gency.

Damien Miller, Andre Schaap, Justin Tu­dor, Ruby Shaw and Jake O’Mal­ley.

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