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Wednesday October 4, 2017

International success for young inventors

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A trio of Year 6 students at Queen Margaret College has won an international competition after creating an app to help people evacuate during a tsunami. Eimear Fitzgerald, Isabel Haupt and Jaskiran Rahi entered their “Evac-UBuddy” app prototype in the “Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero” competition this year. They won the New Zealand Primary School division in September. Then they won the Australian and New Zealand competition against more than a thousand girls in over 260 product teams. Isabel came up with the idea, a live map based home-finder for tsunami evacuees after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Wellington last November. She says they live in Seatoun and had

to evacuate up the hill. “We had a friend’s house to go to but a lot of people had to sleep in their cars,” she says. After coming up with the initial idea Isabel asked Jaskiran and Eimear to join her team. They spent hours planning, designing, and creating the app. They also had to produce a pitch and a demonstration video for the competition. “You either register as an evacuee or as a host. When you are a host you fill in whether your house is dog friendly or baby friendly and how many people you can take. A pin will pop up on the map of your house so people know how to find you,” Eimear explains. The girls learnt how to use MIT Appmaker and to block code, design buttons, wireframe the screen layouts and links and run an android emulator

as part of the project. They also presented their app to the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office and made further adaptations based on their recommendations. The girls were thrilled to find out they had won. “I found out in the middle of the night and I was so excited,” Isabel says. They will decide whether they want to take their app further in a Technovation Camp round. “At the moment our app is focused on Seatoun and tsunami evacuation because that’s where Eimear and I live but it could help with bushfire evacuation and other disasters overseas. If we do the next part of the competition we would have to work on how we could take it worldwide,” Isabel says.

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Independent Herald 04-10-17  

Independent Herald 04-10-17

Independent Herald 04-10-17  

Independent Herald 04-10-17