Te Araroa News
Te Araroa features at the School Science Fair - 06 August 2019
Evie Chamberlain-Holyoake, is a year 8 student at Chisnallwood Intermediate School in Christchurch, New Zealand.
As part of her school work, she has the chance to partake in a Science Fair. This involves her investigating and presenting a science or technology idea/experiment.
This year she chose to research a technology project and her idea comes from her love of tramping.
While out tramping with her dad, Evie come in contact with the Te Araroa trail. They met with a number of the people doing this trail. Evie quickly worked out that often thru-walkers will leave the track, go into town and then enter the next part of the trail a bit later. For most of these sections, the only places that ‘’intentions’ are noted is in the hut intentions books, and even then it relies on people filling them in.
Evie’s idea came from the following scenario. An international trail walker does not make contact with home, and their parents get worried. They contact New Zealand police. The police know the visitor is doing the Te Araroa trail, but don’t know if at that time the walker is on or off the trail.
Each section of the trail has a discrete start and finish. She proposed that those entry and exit points (waypoints) have detectors. Each person who registers for the trail gets a tag that they carry with them. As a walker with a tag passes through an entry/exit they are logged in a data logger with their ID and date/time stamp. In this way authorities looking would have a better idea if someone was likely still on the trail (logged entering but not logged exiting and never logged entering another bit), or off the trail and in town (logged entering and exiting, but not logged entering another bit).
With the idea in place, Evie set off to design a system that would help her solve the issue she had found! With the support of her Dad, the Te Araroa Trail and of Les Wright from VIP Security she was able to create a system. The project was entered in her school fair and come out on top, in doing so it has now been entered in the Canterbury/Westland Schools science fair! We wish Evie all the very best with the next stage of the project!