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Here we go again! Astonishing performances by the High Schoolers in the CRISiSLab Challenge 2023

Updated: Dec 7, 2023



CRISiSLab at the Joint Centre for Disaster Research at Massey University proudly hosted the final demonstration day of the third CRISiSLab Challenge on 22nd August 2023. Twelve teams from ten schools in the Wellington region took part in this thriving event. A total of 60 students from years 9 to 13 represented their ability to design and build their tsunami detectors. The Challenge’s aim is to encourage young people in science, technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).



Kelvin Tapuke started off the event with a lovely mihi Whakatau. Then the competition kicked off led by CRISiSLab Challenge 2023 Project Manager Dr Marion Tan and the MC of the event Alicia Cui. Dr Tan highlighted that the goal of this whole competition is not only about teaching science and technology but also about how we can apply those in real-life situations.


As the CRISiSLab team, we are extremely proud of all the students who made a great effort to successfully demonstrate their tsunami detectors. Also, we are grateful for all our judges Sarah-Jayne McCurrach (Toka Tū Ake EQC), William Power (GNS Science), Joshu Mountjoy (NIWA), Georgia McCombe (East Coast Lab), Laura Hughes (VUW), Lauren Vinnell (Massey University), Kelvin Tapuke (Massey University), Jeff Lin (Massey University/VUW), Chanthujan Chandrakumar (Massey University), and Marion Tan (Massey University) for their valuable feedback and guidance.



At the end of a cheerful day, the effectiveness of their design, presentation skills, software coding skills, and innovativeness were analyzed to choose the winners. Wellington College (Senior Team) impressed the judges with their wave detection system and was able to win the ultimate winning prize where they were offered a month-long internship opportunity with CRISiSLab. Wellington College (Team#1) amazed the judges with their presentation skills and won the best presentation prize. The best design and innovation prize was secured by Hutt Valley High School. The Wellington College (Senior Team) and St Bernard’s College teams were able to secure the awards for best sensor system and best data display respectively.


Besides the winning teams, everyone was delighted by the amazing presentation skills of students from St Patrick’s College, Silverstream, and Paraparaumu College. The technique of using nail polish as a glue for waterproofing was a fascinating idea presented by Hutt Valley High School. The team from Tawa College was able to entertain everyone with their eye-catching communication skills and with a mention of the story of addressing themselves as “Fridges”. Everyone was astounded to witness the techniques used by students from Taita College, Naenae College, Te Kura Māori o Porirua, and St Patrick’s College when building their wave detection systems.



The session ended with an enlightening speech delivered by Dr Raj Prasanna, the CRISiSLab lead. We are thankful for our hardworking team members from CRISiSLab, who made this day beautiful and successful. Also, we are grateful to the teachers and students for their participation and hope to see you all again in 2024 with another fun and innovative challenge.


See a summary video of the Challenge:






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