5th Tech Cluster – 12. Sep @ WBHS Library

Our most recent tech cluster meeting attracted the biggest and most widely spread audience to date. About fifty eager technologist & enthusiasts joined our excellent speakers. The youngest attendant was 11 and the eldest couple over 150 years between them. We are grateful to Allister from Whangarei Boys High school to host us again at their well suited library.

1 ) The event was kicked off by the brilliant civil engineer Shaun Grieves from WSP-Opus. Shaun shared his use case for using drone technology to develop 3D terrain models for slip monitoring in Northland. He explained how he uses drone footage to monitor slips along rural road corridors. Shaun compared this fairly recent application of drones to traditional and other methods. The coolest alternative he is dealing with is 5.5 day spaced 250 x 50 km satellite data.

IMG_20190912_170722.jpgEarth Observation (EO) maybe another, separate talk on its own for one of the next Tech Clusters…

2 ) The next speakers were Richard & Jack Slatter from WBHS.  They successfully ran a campaign at the Northland Science Fair to win an introductory trip to Otago University early next year. Both presented their comparative model of different forms of public transport for Whangarei.

IMG_20190826_145318.jpgThe presentation was so compelling that the audience suggested them to present to the wider council transport team and Ohmio, the autonomous shuttle company based in Pakaranga, Auckland.

3) The students were followed by Wayne Caroll. Wayne teaches at Excelerate College and runs cool after school tech workshops. He shared his vast experience on 3D printing. Printer types, filaments, printing and 3D scanning methods were shared and many amazing artifacts presented.  Others, including Dave from the Inventors Club, shared some of his cool designs including steam engine, Hamilton Jet and a recent, complex levitating device. It was suggested to organise a small workshop on do’s and don’ts on 3D printing. Please get in touch if you like to join and contribute.

4) Heath Grant did a brilliant presentation on WBHS’ new pupil run Technology Committee.

IMG_20190912_173853.jpgIf understood it right, they are open for ideas on cool tech projects, as long as you provide materials and/ or funds to source them. If you are interested in well specified and executed projects, please contact Allister at WBHS. He will connect you to the relevant pupils.

5) Kiri Tavaga summarised the exciting first five week’s of Port3’s 12 week digital right skilling programme. Students between 15-26 years are learning to build web sites, mobile apps and other amazing tech skills.

IMG_20190912_184301.jpgIn week one they visited 19 tech companies in Auckland including Spark, Vector, Xero. The students are incorporating the life skills taught by their parents into their end project. The big prize at the end of Port 3’s programme is your driver’s license, a laptop and pathway into your new digital job. I think this is a very inspiring programme for the first cohort of ten.

It looks we got first suggestions for improving the event and a couple of new speakers & topics. If you have topic requests, recommendations and/ or cool new speakers, please contact us.

Many thanks for all to come and specifically to our brilliant and inspiring speakers.

See you late October for our next Northland Tech Cluster.