17 October 2017
Propellerhead gives computers to OMGTech!
Students and OMGTech! volunteers at a recent OMGTech! Rangers event. Photo by Paul Petch Photography.
More Kiwi kids will have access to tech education, thanks to New Zealand software company Propellerhead.
The company, which builds software for the likes of Auckland Transport, Ministry of Education, NZ Post, and Auckland
Museum, has donated 27 spare laptops and other computer hardware to OMGTech! - a Kiwi charity giving kids, teachers and
communities access to digital education.
OMGTech! was founded to give young New Zealanders without access to IT the tools and knowledge required to build digital
Founded by Zoe Timbrell, Vaughan Rowsell and Rab Heath - with the help of Dr Michelle Dickinson - OMGTech!’s mission is
to reach 200,000 primary and intermediate-aged kids, as well as any parents, caregivers, teachers and family members.
It has received government funding for its initiatives, and is backed by tech giants including Microsoft, Huawei and
Propellerhead director Andrew Weston said the computers will go towards enabling kids in Huntly and Ngaruawahia to learn
to code via a new initiative by OMGTech!, which is setting up tech hubs.
Many workshops and programmes have been facilitated by OMGTech! so far - including those targeted especially for girls,
coding in Te Reo, youth leadership and creating an Artificial Intelligence bot named Grace.
It was an easy decision to gift the computers to such a charity, Andrew said.
“OMGTech! embodies an ethos we at Propellerhead have about solving problems and creating digital futures. By connecting
more kids with computers, especially those who may not otherwise learn about technology, we hope to help inspire and
enable them to grow into the innovative technology leaders the world needs.”
Propellerhead was established in the early 2000s and now its software powers some of the largest ideas in government,
commercial and non-profit institutions in New Zealand.
OMGTech! Founder and General Manager Zoe Timbrell said the donated computers could be used by thousands of children,
parents and teachers using the new tech hubs, which are due to be completed in the coming months.
“The devices will make a huge difference to the volume of children and communities we can reach. Without the support of
companies like Propellerhead we would struggle - even more than we do now - to meet the demand that exists in New
Zealand for our services.
“Technology is now so ingrained in many Kiwis' lives that they couldn’t imagine living without it. Unfortunately, for a
large chunk of our society, they do not have access to the very tools which are going to improve their life
opportunities - and we want to close that gap.”