Kiwi school students' invention wins surprise trip to France

Credit: Newshub

A group of secondary school students from Alexandra was given the surprise of their lives on Friday morning.

They entered a competition sponsored by the New Zealand Space Agency, which asked them to make an invention using space technology.

The students didn't win, but their entry was so good they were given a pretty good prize anyway.

They're being sent by the New Zealand Space Agency to France in just two weeks.

During the competition last week the Dunstan High School pupils pitched an augmented reality app that would allow people to graffiti real-life buildings in the digital world.

The surprise was revealed by NZ Space Agency spokesperson Michelle Schulz at assembly on Friday morning, and the students were called up to the stage.

"I hope you have a passport, because you're going to Toulouse in two weeks," she said.

André Schaap, Jake O'Malley, Justin Tudor, Damien Millar and Ruby Shaw teamed up to take on PhD candidates in the space technology competition.

They placed second, and usually only the winner would go to France but the NZ Space Agency is sending them too because it loves their idea.

"I loved it and the first time I saw it and the pitch, I was just blown away, it was just so incredibly new and disruptive nothing like anything we have ever seen before," Ms Schultz said.

Jake O'Malley says the idea could be used by businesses for marketing in augmented reality:

"There's a bunch of graffiti artists and there's taggers manning the cans and destroying property and we thought why're they doing this it's because they don't really have a canvas of their own, so we thought why not give them one," he said.

The team are heading to the Toulouse Space Show where they'll be pitching their idea to the biggest names in the sector, and hoping to meet coders and investors.



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