Wakatipu High student’s web wonder

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A local design company has been helping a Wakatipu High student develop a useful web application for the school. 

Wakatipu High Year 13 student Caitlin Laurenson has for the past half year been creating an application that will put an internal school newsletter online and allow teachers and students to update it. 

Caitlin says the idea arose because it can, at times, be difficult to find hard copies of the newsletter. 

The 17-year-old took on the project as part of her NCEA level three computing class, and hopes it’ll help win her one of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s scholarship prizes of between $500 and $1000. 

Queenstown firm Swordfox Design has been mentoring Caitlin throughout, with senior web developer Andy Smith helping her with the coding. 

“I was very daunted with how much work it was going to take,” Caitlin says. 

After an estimated three months of coding, it’s now at a point where it’s online and able to be tested. 

Caitlin adds: “It’s getting there – the development of the site is done. Now a lot of nitty-gritty like writing the report needs doing.” 

Smith says: “I thought it was pretty ambitious going through the design and overall user interface issues.” 

Swordfox co-owner and creative director Georgina Cunningham says the school last year approached to see if her firm would be interested in helping mentor students. 

“It’s great to see a student interested in it and it’s really good we can help them relate it to a commercial setting and bridge that gap,” Cunningham says.