PYP students take first prize in a tech competition for girls

Three IB students attending primary school in New Zealand have won an international technology competition with an app idea to help people evacuate during a tsunami.

Eimear Fitzgerald, Isabel Haupt and Jaskiran Rahi, all Primary Years Programme (PYP) students at Queen Margaret College, created an app prototype called “Evac-U-Buddy” for this year’s “Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero” competition and won the New Zealand Primary School division . This Australian and New Zealand competition encourages girls to get involved in the tech industry and selects winners from both primary school and high school.

Isabel came up with the initial idea for the app after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Wellington last November, and asked Eimear and Jaskiran to join her team. The app provides a live map for tsunami evacuees to find homes for shelter.

“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 were thrilled about winning the competition and the next step is to decide whether they will 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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