A student-designed game promoting mental health awareness has won an award in a digital technology championship.

John Paul College students were named bronze challenge winners in the Waikato regional competition of the inaugural Tahi Rua Toru Tech competition.

The group, known as Vibranium, created a project which was a role-playing survival game where the gamer is put in difficult situations they need to overcome.

It aims to inform players about different mental disorders and provide ways to tackle situations that may lead to mental health illness.


The group was made up of Soo Jung Jin, Pretty Patel, and Jaenelle Whittaker.

In the competition, small teams of students completed a project-based challenge either in-class or through a local Code Club.

The other Waikato region winner was Morrinsville Intermediate School which created a real-time school notices app and won the First Challenge category.

The Waikato regional winners were announced in Hamilton at the end of October and will compete for New Zealand titles in their respective levels at the national finals in Wellington on December 5.

Tahi Rua Toru Tech launched in April this year and is designed to encourage participation in technology.

The director of a software specialist company, David Hallett, who took part in the awards ceremony said the competition emphasised creating solutions for real-world problems.

"It is not just about learning how to use a device or an application."

IT Professionals New Zealand chief executive Paul Matthews said an understanding of digital technology was "essential" in a 21st century workforce.


"Tahi Rua Toru Tech sets out to provide a positive experience about this important subject before it becomes compulsory.

"This is not only a competition for students who are "good at maths", successful technology solutions require the application of every skillset, including design, logic, art and people skills."

Tahi Rua Toru Tech is delivered by not-for-profit organisations led by IT Professionals and Royal Society Te Apārangi.

It is supporting the introduction of the new Digital Technology and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum into schools.