The bleeding-edge of digital technology was no problem for the three Lynfield College students, who have taken out the top places in the national NZ Secondary Cloud Skills Challenge for 2021!
Kaelem Chandra (1st overall), Rielly Moore (2nd) and Harbour Wang (3rd) were among hundreds of secondary students who participated in the first NZ Secondary Schools Cloud Skills Challenge, a challenge which consists of technology learning modules aimed at IT professionals and university students trying to enter the rapidly growing cloud computing space. The Lynfield College students gained the highest scores in the national competition, which tested their knowledge and creative thinking skills in across multiple disciplines such as Artificial Intelligence, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365 Administration and Automation.
Participants had to complete advanced learning modules provided by the Microsoft Learn network, complete exercise labs and then independently validate their knowledge by sitting a Microsoft Certified Fundamental exam which is an internationally recognised industry certification used to prove an individual has the adequate skills for employment.
The competition was hosted online by New Zealand Industry Qualifications (NZIQ) and Microsoft NZ. According to Jonathan Jansen of NZIQ, the decision to include a secondary school division was a last-minute decision.
“Microsoft have hosted Cloud Skills Challenges internationally throughout the year and seen some great engagement at a university level. When we proposed running a Secondary School Division, we really weren’t sure how high school students would hold up against the advanced material,” he says.
“We were incredibly impressed with what New Zealand students were able to achieve. In a rapidly emerging industry, the demand for cloud skills is already immense. The quality of all participating students from across New Zealand was very encouraging and shows that our students are prepared to challenge, innovate and create for the future.”
Principal Cath Knell said she was delighted that Lynfield College students had achieved so highly and that these results would surely inspire even more students to participate in the future.