The information technology, business planning and marketing competition for secondary students in the Bay of Plenty is returning at the end of March this year.
Following the success of the inaugural competition in 2011, competition organisers are promising more prize money and a more challenging event in 2012 for The Mashup 2012 powered by Ultrafast Fibre competition. They point to positive student comments last year as the prime reason for repeating the competition. One entrant said, "This has been an awesome experience. I have learnt heaps of information that I had never heard of before. So thanks for the opportunity to come here and I'm going to be back next year."
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is coordinating this innovative competition for secondary students who will compete to produce Mashups. These will provide greater access and usability for data that is already publicly available but perhaps not being used to its greatest capacity. Winners in 2011, Aquinas College integrated several online data sources to create an event planner that provided information in one place about events including bus timetables for getting there and other information.
The secondary students will work under time constraints to produce a business plan, design concept and ultimately a Mashup.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman John Cronin said that this competition was a really good opportunity to encourage and reward teenagers to think outside the box and be creative using technology.
Chairman Cronin said: "The students will have a pool of expert information technology (IT) professionals on hand to help them through any technical difficulties." "We're very grateful for the contributions these experts are making and acknowledge their commitment to making information more accessible and useful for the public.
"This will be a great challenge for the competing teams and an opportunity to win some of the $2500 prize money," he said.
Ultrafast Fibre's CEO Maxine Elliott says that they are excited to support The Mashup 2012. "Our company is bringing Tauranga a fibre network that will enable schools, organisations and individuals to connect to a new generation of ultrafast broadband at exponentially faster speeds. Widespread use of ultrafast broadband is predicted to radically transform the way we use technology and communicate. The Mashup is a great way to see how young people envision using ultrafast broadband, to create innovative products and services."
The Bay of Plenty Polytech will again provide its Bongard Centre Campus in Tauranga as the venue for this competition, which will be held on Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April 2012. The Polytech's Information Technology Group Leader Karen Phillips said the Polytechnic was delighted to be sponsoring this event.
"Last year's Mashup competition was really amazing," Mrs Phillips said.
"To see young college students so focused on the task and demonstrating some very advanced skills was great. No wonder representatives of the local IT industry were so enthusiastic!
"I am really looking forward to hosting this year's competition as part of the Polytechnic's aim to showcase some of the exciting opportunities that await young people with qualifications in IT.
"Hopefully, some of the participants will be inspired to gain their Diplomas in Applied Computing with Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and complete their University of Waikato degree in Tauranga."
Competition organisers will be sending more information to schools so that they can advise the students and register their teams. More information on the competition is also available from www.mashup.co.nz
The 2012 competition is sponsored by Ultrafast Fibre, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Trustpower, Avonmore Tertiary Institute, Holistec, Technology Wise, Cucumber and Pingar