During the last weekend of March, Bruce Fraser and the good people at Bay of Plenty Regional Council joined partners and sponsors to hold their second successful data Mashup competition for secondary school students.
Mashup 2012 was a chance for local students to rise to the challenge and build new tools for real world scenarios, and all in just one weekend. Twelve teams of up to five pupils gathered at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic’s Bongard Centre to create their entries. They were asked to use their best programming, business and marketing skills to help with conundrums like environmental care, tourism and tertairy campus life.
Tools and services produced by such competitions help make our lives easier. Mashups generally combine two or more datasets or functionalities and present them in new and useful ways. For example, a winning entry called “Welcome to Study in the Bay” from the Solid Impact team proposed to integrate sites about accommodation, courses and various study portals to provide a streamlined experience.
The students worked under the helpful guidance of over 22 experienced mentors who volunteered their time to help keep teams focused, on track with their plans, and ready to tackle technical hurdles. Being a sponsor, DigitalNZ also sent up Technical Lead Chris McDowall to lend a hand.
Chris says "It was great to see such hardworking teenagers. They made some pretty incredible things in such a short period of time". Some good technical projects included tools for organising beach cleanups and a local tourism app.
This year the entrants were asked to focus on a business plan and marketing strategy for their mashup, as well as just the technical design and implementation.
In preparation for the competition, everyone was encouraged to take advantage of the Mix & Mash ‘Beginners guide to data mashup' and to check out various sources of New Zealand data, including the DigitalNZ API.
To find out more about Mashup 2012 at the Bay of Plenty and meet the winners, check out mashup.co.nz