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Source: Massey University


Winning teams and their alerting devices.


Recently, 53 students from six colleges in the Wellington region participated in the inaugural CRISiSLab Challenge 2021 Demonstration Day on Massey’s Wellington campus.

The CRISiSLab Challenge is a combined challenge of coding skills, science communication skills, innovation and creativity. The enthusiastic students had actively worked with a ground motion detection sensor called Raspberry Shake for ten weeks, using the data captured by their sensors to create alerts upon reaching specific thresholds.

Then, on the day of the event, the students had to demonstrate the alerts through the external devices they had made.

Co-funded by QuakeCoRE and Resilience to Nature’s Challenges (RNC), the purpose of the CRISiSLab Challenge 2021 was to encourage the next generation of researchers into the fields of technology and emergency management.

Dr Marion Tan from the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (JCDR) led the project and was blown away by the students.

“The success of this pilot event reassures us as we aspire to hold a bigger competition involving more Wellington schools next year. We intend to make the competition an annual event encouraging more students to go into technology, science, and emergency management. In designing and preparing for this event, we met with technology and science teachers to ensure that it links up to their interests and curriculum.”

CRISiSLab is a laboratory within the JCDR, where the team researches technology use in emergency management contexts.

“Outreach and education is part of our work, and we believe the Challenge will be an important part of this outreach,” Dr Tan adds.

St Mary’s College was one of six colleges in the Wellington region participating in the CRISiSLab Challenge 2021.


Feedback from schools

The organisers received some great feedback from teachers and students. 

A Paraparaumu College teacher said their students enjoyed it and that they developed an interest in science and technology and the skill of completing a task within a deadline.

Te Kura Māori o Porirua teachers said they felt proud of their students for what they’ve achieved and were impressed to see how students integrated modern technology and mātauranga Māori through their own lens into the Challenge.

And from Wellington College: “A great experience to see the students have such passion. Also, it was great to see them implement what they want to achieve.” 

As well as Dr Tan, the team from Massey consisted of Dr Raj Prasanna (Senior Lecturer), Alicia Cui (Research Officer), and Syed Yasir Imtiaz (PhD student). 

You can find out more about the event here and watch a video of the day here.

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