08 Nov 2012
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Winning schools sketch vision for a UFB future

The winners of Telecom’s inaugural ‘Amazing Ideas Search’ have been chosen after judges assessed hundreds of ideas from Kiwi kids across the country on how Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) can enhance our lives.

Winning entries included ideas such as virtual training for professional athletes; innovative health assessments for patients living in rural areas; online environmental analysis options and recommendations on how to boost the economy by using UFB to make New Zealand a website hosting hub.

Earning $2,000 for each school per winner, the competition has coincided with the country passing the first year of a nine year $1.3billion rollout of UFB.

“The roll out of UFB is a massive opportunity for our country and what better way to imagine the possibilities fibre offers than through the eyes of children, our next generation," says Chris Quin, CEO Retail at Telecom.

“Our judges were really impressed by the energy and creativity the entrants displayed.

"It’s also really encouraging to see such incredible innovation from such young people.”

Telecom kicked off the Amazing Ideas Search in term three and called on primary, intermediate and secondary pupils to develop ideas that could reshape the way we live, work, learn and play.

All entries were required to have UFB at their core, with judges, including leading educational expert Dr. John Langley, said to be impressed by the scope and application of the pupils’ ideas.

“The entries reinforced my view that today’s young people are operating under a different set of assumptions and paradigms than previous generations – they’re also adopting technology faster than previous generations," Dr Langley says.

"It’s an exciting time and I was very much reassured that our fibre future is in good hands thanks to Telecom and Kiwi kids.”

Bay of Plenty’s Katikati College had three winners Noor Al-Shamma, 11; Tyler Davidson, 12; Lucy Douglas, 13 and Southland Girls High School in Invercargill had two groups from the special ‘Minds Alive’ class – a class that examines a range of global issues from a variety of perspectives.

“I was inspired by the endless possibilities UFB could bring. I wanted to create something to help health and science,” Douglas says.

Zoe McClure, 13, from Craighead Diocesan School in Timaru also impressed judges with her entry ‘Our Amazing Future’, as did Tauranga Boys College student Jared Prescott, 15, whose idea had an education focus.

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