Limerick wins student top prize in Wintec’s first ‘180-Second Thesis’ competition

Postgraduate students from across Wintec had the opportunity to present their research in a concise, fun and engaging way in just 180 seconds (three minutes) at Wintec’s inaugural ‘180-second Thesis’ competition. School of Media Arts’ Andrea Pooley took out the top prize at the event in March, turning her Music Masters into a 180-second limerick.

The ‘180-Second Thesis’ concept is based on the global University competition, the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT), but with a different name to distinguish the competition and to allow for some relaxing of the rules and regulations.

Wintec School of Media Arts Research Leader Nick Braae and colleagues saw this competition as being an “excellent way of sharing research and honing students’ communicative abilities.” 

“We kept the same focus on clearly and succinctly explaining the project focus and outcomes, but really encouraged students to bring some flair and creativity to their presentation style – and they delivered! It’s also about creating a more collaborative and fun culture around study, which can become siloed and lonesome at postgraduate level,” Braae said.

The competition was a great opportunity for students to hear what others were doing within Wintec, possibly leading to potential collaborations or other discussions. Equally it helped to foster a sense that they were part of a network at Wintec. 

Braae said that condensing your research into 180 seconds for a general audience was really very challenging. 

“The competition is an excellent way of distilling your ideas into a concise form and delivering often quite complex material in a manner that can be appreciated by a diverse audience.

“This ultimately gives students a better self-awareness and understanding of what they are trying to say through their work,” Braae said.

The Postgraduate team at Wintec have aspirations for the 180 Second Thesis competition to become an annual event and ideally something that postgraduate students see as a natural part of their studies.

The judges, who included CEO, Creative Waikato, Dr. Jeremy Mayall, were very impressed at the caliber of the presenters, who came from a range of Centres, including Media Arts, Sports Science and Human Performance and, Health and Social Practice, as well as from Wintec subsidiary, Design Factory. 

Ultimately, it came down to who had the most original and striking way of presenting. Andrea Pooley from the School of Media Arts was able to rise to this challenge, turning her Music masters into a 180-second limerick.