Two Tauranga Girls' College students have received second place in an international map-drawing competition.

Rebecca Kneale and Akira McTavish-Huriwai, both 15, together created "Through a Child's Eyes", which has since been exhibited at the International Cartographic Conference in Washington DC. It was also displayed during the award ceremony to an international audience. This is particularly impressive as it is the first time New Zealand has been placed in this competition in almost two decades.

After receiving an assignment to enter the competition in their social studies class, the pair spent about nine hours completing the artwork. It was then sent to the National Cartographic Committee where only six maps were selected to represent New Zealand in the international competition.

Rebecca, who was behind the drawing in the piece, said: "We tried to spark inspiration by looking at the other submissions from past year and realised that there weren't a lot of people or faces included in the artwork."

From research came the concept of integrating a map on a child's face which became their point of difference in the competition. Akira said, "We wouldn't have been able to do it without the guidance of our teachers."

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The piece also won first place in the 13 to 15 age bracket in the New Zealand Cartographic Children's Map competition.