Promoting science through a hackathon

How can science be made interesting and accessible? In December 2018, Wellington School of Business and Government students from the Master of Professional Business Analysis participated in the Wellington Science Hackathon to address this challenge.

Winning team making their pitch to other participants at the Hackathon
Literal Explosion make their pitch at the Wellington Science Hackathon.

Teams were composed of students from the Master of Professional Business Analysis, the Master of Software Development, and the Master of User Experience Design, as well as high school students from Taita College, Wellington High School, St Bernard's College, and Wellington Girls College.

The winning team, Literal Explosion, was composed of Aroha Koia (Taita College), Matthieu Boudet (St Bernard's College), Fiona Crook (Master of Software Development), Jacob McComb (Master of Professional Business Analysis) and Yi Zhang (Master of Professional Business Analysis).  Their solution enables the sharing of lab and scientific equipment between schools, based on a sharing economy business model.

"Digital innovation can be harnessed not only to seize business opportunities, but also to promote social good," says Jean-Grégoire Bernard, course coordinator of MBUA515 Digital Innovation & Strategy.

"The hackathon challenged our students to develop a civic mindset about the role of digital innovation in society.  It also provided an opportunity for high school students to learn first-hand about how digital innovations are designed, by working alongside our master students.  Both groups of students acquired an appreciation of the best practices that generate successful innovation outcomes."

The two-day event was organized by the ICT Graduate School and the Tertiary Education Commission, with the support of Deloitte and Microsoft.