The Tahi Rua Toru Tech Challenge uses a special version of the CREST Programme from the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Most students participate in the 123Tech Challenge as a classroom activity, however you can also enter through your local Code Club (check out codeclub.nz for more information).
CREST and DigiCREST
The 123Tech Challenge is based on the DigiCREST model.
DigiCREST is a special version of the very successful CREST model (CREativity in Science and Technology), a well-known project-based initiative operated in NZ schools by the Royal Society of NZ for over 20 years.
CREST is a proven model, with DigiCREST being a significant customisation for delivery in a Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko context.
You can find out more about the Royal Society’s CREST programme on their website.
123Tech Challenge – the Intermediate and Secondary School Challenge
The full challenge is available in these divisions:
- First Challenge: Years 5-8 (Senior Primary / Intermediate)
- Secondary Challenge: Years 9-10 (Junior Secondary)
- Senior Secondary Challenge: Years 11-13 (NCEA / Senior Secondary)
123Tech First, Secondary and Senior Secondary Challenges are team-based digital technology project challenges with comprehensive age and learning-level appropriate support and guidance.
Each level builds on the previous in terms of the depth and complexity of both the process and the outcome. Each has a Challenge question – a variation of identifying a problem in their own school or community and devising a digital technologies-based solution to solve it.
The process becomes more comprehensive at higher levels, but the general theme includes:
- Sharing the learning journey via a blog (safe platform provided for teams).
- Deciding on an interesting problem to solve (student groups are supported to develop a Project Plan – more structured at later levels)
- Sharing and discussing the idea with an industry Mentor (provided as part of the Challenge), and getting advice on how to progress
- Exploring ideas with some trial and error, and deciding on an aim, need and opportunity.
- Carrying out the plan – with the support of the Mentor and Teacher, and using all resources at their disposal, try to solve the challenge and problem.
- Pivoting is encouraged! Changing if necessary and revising as they go along.
- Reporting interesting aspects of the project to others and on the blog.
- Self-assessing using the assessment criteria provided and discussing with the teacher and mentor.
- Completing a short report on how it went and reflecting on learning.
Those who successfully complete the Challenge to a suitable standard will be able to download a 123Tech DigiCREST Challenge Certificate (DigiCREST First, Bronze and Silver respectively for the three levels). Teachers and Code Club coordinators can then select the best projects to go forward to the Regional Championship. Winners of the Regional Championship can go on to enter the National Awards.
In earlier years (as the TechHub CREST Challenge) the challenge question has been based around mobile app development, however as part of the expanded Challenge, it now includes using any relevant digital technologies to solve the challenge problem.
Regional and National Championship
All levels of the 123Tech Challenges are completed in the classroom or Code Club, generally over a term, and are a great way to get children to engage in the new Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content while working towards the DT&HM curriculum Progress Outcomes.
Each school participating in the Challenge can select their best teams to go onto the Regional 123Tech Championships. Teams selected for the Regional Championship will pitch their idea and learning journey to a small and friendly panel of local tech industry and education experts.
The panel will select a Regional Winner, announced at one of the 10 regional events and expos around New Zealand. The Regional Winners will have the opportunity to travel to Wellington to compete in the National Championship and be crowned the New Zealand winner for that year.