40 students from schools all over the top of the south came together at the Trafalgar Center to compete in the Ministry of Primary Industries sponsored challenge.
Never having entered a team before the nine Nayland College students had little idea what the event would involve so nerves and excitement levels were high. After an introduction and briefing, the cohort were randomly split into groups of four students. Industry experts set them the challenge to develop an innovative idea using technology to help the aquaculture industry to adapt to climate change.
Teams then thought about the issue and decided on a problem that they wanted to solve. Most ideas centered on sea temperature increases but others were interested in ocean current or acidity changes. Once they had a clear idea of the problem they wanted to solve, the groups devised their plans, discussed feasibility with their mentors and incorporated the use of technology like nanorobots, networks and sensors, genome sequencing and artificial intelligence into their prototypes.
The final part of the day was to “pitch” their idea to the panel of experts. Every member of the group was expected to contribute and benefitted from the presentation tips that the mentors provided.
Nayland College students performed extremely well in all aspects of the day. Spot prizes were won by Max Lang for being most supportive and Tara McLarin for being the most enthusiastic speaker. An unexpected bonus was the announcement of a $400 prize pool and with Nayland representatives in the first 3 placed teams they took home half the prize money between them!
By Simon Patel