'Sink or Swim' - South Auckland Secondary School Awards for a sustainable future

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Despite the crutches, Alice was thrilled to be a Judge in the inaugural Tiaki - 'Sink Or Swim' Awards, South Auckland Secondary Schools Environmental Competition. ‘Sink or Swim’ (SOS) currently in its first year culminated in an expo and awards ceremony on 2 August at the new Sir Noel Robinson Conference Centre (Vodafone Events Centre). The pilot has been a resounding success, with students from four South Auckland schools partnering with local businesses to conceptualise and develop environmental solutions to solve real world problems. The projects contributed to Tiaki’s vision 'A future where youth protect, enhance and beautify the South Auckland environment through innovative actions that support a sustainable future. The judges included 4Sight’s Alice Andrew, Anne Gibbon from Callaghan Innovation, Michael Grobelny from AUT – Faculty of Design and Creative technologies, and Sir Noel Robinson himself. After some intense presenting from the students and judging the students then took to the new Wero White water park. Alice is looking forward seeing the awards gain momentum and can’t wait to see what amazing entrants there will be next year. 

Congratulations to Manurewa High as overall winners for their invention to produce a cost effective solution for rental or Housing NZ homes where moisture is a problem. Manurewa High worked with Aeroqual to address the health hazards associated with excess moisture in damp, mouldy homes by 3D-printing an extractor fan with a built in timer and humidity sensor.  

Other projects included a 21st century school community garden, from Aorere College and Opus and an Alternative Energy Project from Sancta Maria College, who teamed up with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare to explore alternative ways to produce energy.  Two schools, Manurewa High School and Rongomai Primary School, worked with Aeroqual on a project to measure, map and reduce CO2 levels in the classroom through the use of simple sensors and natural organisms such as plant life. It was impressive to hear the primary school students from Rongomai explain how excess CO2 levels in the classroom contribute to lethargy and lack of concentration.