Technology concept challenge for high school students

2011 Otago Technology Innovation Challenge will test students' innovation with IT

The department of Information Science at Otago University's School of Business will hold the 2011 Otago Technology Innovation Challenge this month, in which senior high school students present pitches on how to use technology such as mobility and data mining.

There will be three events, in Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland, on June 24, 28 and 30, with 15 schools from Dunedin, nine from Wellington and 15 from Auckland participating.

In the morning, students will hear presentations from Information Science Department members on five areas of technology: Mobile Computing, Interactive Multimedia, Design by Evolution, Telerobotics and Data Mining. They will then work with Department members and each other on devising ways those technologies can be utilised.

The day then ends with the students presenting the ideas in a "Dragon's Den" style contest, with three-minute elevator pitches.

Prizes will be awarded to the overall winner, the team with the best presentation, the team with the best understanding of the technology used, and the team that is the audience choice.

A panel of three judges in each city will decided on the main awards. The judging panel includes the head of the Information Science department, Professor Michael Winikoff, who will judge the Dunedin and Wellington events, and a recent graduate of the Otago University IS department who now has her own IT company, among others.

According to a media release from the School of Business, "In previous years, students have presented diverse and interesting ideas, including: using the accelerometer in the Sun SPOTS for a medical alarm system to monitor patients and determine if they have had a fall or are not moving for a period of time; developing a new business model combining Trade Me-like features with Twitter to allow faster and better communication between sellers and buyers; and using a virtual world environment to create an environment to help people choreograph dance groups such as those doing the Stage Challenge."

The Dunedin event is at the Information Science Teaching Laboratory in Leith St, the Wellington event is at the University of Otago Medical School on Mein St, Newtown, and the Auckland one is at University of Otago House, Queen St.

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