Coding project listed for excellence award

5 July 2016

Coding project listed for excellence award

A NorthTec staff team working on a project with Glenbervie’s Pehiaweri Marae and Kamo High School has been shortlisted for a national IT Excellence in Education award.

The NorthTec “Digit” Team, which has started coding clubs for children, teenagers and adults at both the marae and the high school, is one of three finalists in the Excellence in IT Education category at the Institute of IT Professionals’ (IITP) annual awards.

STEM Project Team Leader, Nigel Studdart, and Research Educators Temakwan Fenton-Coyne and Luke Tomes, will attend the awards dinner next week, when the winners will be announced.

They have worked closely with the marae and the high school to establish the clubs which help young people in Whangarei develop skills in IT, including computer coding. They have also helped establish the Kauri Club at the marae, which helps older people work with computers.

The work has been carried out as a result of a successful bid to the Government’s Vision Mātaruanga fund – aimed at helping Māori develop their full innovation potential. The funding has enabled NorthTec to employ Temakwan and Luke, both highly experienced IT professionals, to work in and with the community to develop advanced skills which could lead to excellent employment opportunities for young people from Whangarei. The next phase of the project will see this knowledge transferred to other regions in NZ.

Nigel Studdart said he was delighted and honoured that the team had been shortlisted as a finalist, and that they would represent the strong partnership between NorthTec, the marae and the high school. Being one of three finalists in a national award was a reward in itself, he said.

The New Zealand Excellence in IT Awards are sector-wide awards recognising the individuals and teams who have excelled in the information technology industry.

The Digit Team acknowledged the contributions of the NorthTec research mentors, Dr Graeme Hayward, Dr Lavinia Tamarua and Johan Scholtz, and Academic and Evaluation Manager, Jane Arlidge.

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