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2021 | Caitlin Naylor and Jordan Daubney

Caitlin Naylor and Jordan Daubney from Palmerston North Girls' High School have been awarded a Gold CREST for their project on creating a navigation website for schools, in order to help a large number of local students.

Mentor: Dr Giovanni Moretti

Supporters: Dr Rachel Blagojevic, Elly Warnock, Troy Gerbich, Nicola King, Danalize van der Spuy

Supervising teacher: Dr Heather Meikle

Gold CREST medal presented by: Dr Brent Clothier FRSNZ

Caitlin and Jordan's executive summary states: 

"In schools all over the country, complex and confusing paper maps are printed and wasted by students who quickly crumple or lose them. The student team behind this project were well aware of the struggle and stress that comes from navigating around a new school, at an already challenging time in their schooling career. In this project, the group expanded on their Team Silver CREST Challenge project, where they created a navigation app for their school (Palmerston North Girls’ High School), in order to help a larger number of local students.

"The aim of this project was to investigate the feasibility of a traditionally coded (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) website template. The template can be adjusted to create a website that helps those who are unfamiliar with a particular school’s layout, such as new students/teachers and visitors, to easily navigate around said school. This in turn will increase the hospitality, convenience and eco-friendliness of the schools.

"Information was gathered from six local schools. These schools had different layouts (e.g. two stories, organisation and size of buildings and classes, entrances), facilities (e.g. swimming pool, playground, cafe, gardens, help or break places), year levels (e.g. primary, intermediate, high school, or multiple) and student numbers. This information allowed the team to develop rough paper prototypes and then digital conceptual designs for the schools - developing the idea for the template, and exploring and solving any issues that arose. The template was then coded and refined with additional features (e.g. search bar, hamburger menu, extra maps and information) to be as flexible for different school layouts and as useful and efficient for the user as possible.

"The website template was successfully tested by application to four of those local schools, and then confirmed by representatives of these schools in person to ensure that the adjustability of the template was adequate. These applied websites were then tested by users who were not familiar with the layout of the schools they visited. Fifteen of the twenty-one users rated the website (out of 10), at 7 or higher in regards to how easy the websites were to understand and use. Additionally, 25/26 user testers found 5/5 of the locations on the school checklists. When the users were asked if they would prefer the website over a paper map, 16/21 said yes, 4/21 said maybe and only 1/21 replied no. These results confirmed that the template worked as expected and would help users navigate the schools.

"The end product of the template is a greyscale, fully functional website which has code that can be adapted, removed, and duplicated (according to supplied comments) to fit the needs of the school it is being adjusted for. The template has features such as a search bar, whole school and section (part of the school identified by year level/subject/team) maps, section and school structure information, and images of the sections that help users to navigate the schools. Along with these, the template’s components also include: mobile responsive design, hamburger menu navigation, fullscreen (modal) maps, and a number of shortcuts in order to make the template more convenient for the user.

"In the future, the template could be commercialised into a business and/or continued to be worked on by expanding to a larger range of schools along with the addition of other features such as finding the users location and supplying them with routes from their current location to their destination."