The 2018 national winners of the Young ICT Explorers competition have been announced with teams from Queensland and Australian Capital Territory taking home the top prizes.
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) hosted the grand final event on Saturday 8 December, with 69 students competing from 25 schools.
“Encouraging students on the possibilities of technology at a young age is a critical step to increasing the numbers of students considering STEM subjects at University and careers in digital technologies,” said Pete Andrew, COO, SAP Australia and New Zealand. “In order to close the digital skills gap, we must come together as industry, academia and communities to work together to inspire our digital futures. The talent, passion and curiosity displayed by all students throughout the competition, particularly in the grand finals has been outstanding and a real inspiration. Congratulations to all who participated and to our grand final winners.”
The annual Young ICT Explorers competition attracts over 1,300 students and provides an avenue for students to explore practical applications of the ICT skills they learn in the classroom, and to be rewarded for their creativity and ingenuity. Each project is judged by panel of industry professionals and academics, and is assessed on the criteria of creativity, uniqueness, quality, level of difficulty and project documentation.
Created by multinational software company SAP and supported by CSIRO, Young ICT Explorers is designed to engage students from Years 3 to 12 and encourages them to develop innovative digital technologies or ICT projects of their choice. SAP also partners with The Smith Family to narrow the digital divide with its Young ICT Explorers Accelerator Program, designed to provide schools and teachers in disadvantaged communities with the resources and knowledge needed to prepare more young Australians for the digital careers of the future and take part in the program.
The Smith Family CEO Dr Lisa O’Brien said, “We were very pleased to see three of our partner schools in the national finals of the Young ICT Explorers competition. I’m so impressed by the innovation these students have shown and to all the schools who took part this year, I send a big congratulations.
“Opportunities like this encourage and inspire young people from all backgrounds to develop their digital skills, which are critical for their education and transition into employment. Our ongoing partnership with SAP is one we value highly to help close the digital skills gap in Australia and prepare more young people for the digital careers of the future in a fun and engaging way.”
The winners from Saturday’s competition are:
Year 3 – 4
Tamar Cohen Ofir, Ironside State School
South East Queensland
A Ride With No Collide: A model car that stops at red lights due to the light sensor installed under the head lights. Regardless of what the driver does, the car’s sensor will automatically cause it to stop when detecting a red light.
Year 5 – 6
Ethan Schutz, Charlie Crocker, Ryan Catholic College
Invisible Boom Gate: Designed to keep young children safe in the street – the Invisible Boom Gate enables children to play in the street but keeps them alert for cars coming around the corner by using a siren and a flashing light.
Year 7 – 8
Tristan Fivaz, Annandale Christian College
The Mail Sensor: A solar powered mail device that lights up and changes colour based on the weight of your mail.
Year 9 – 10
Alex He, Anish Kafle, Alana Couperthwaite, Alice Walker, Indooroopilly State High School
South East Queensland
Pill-pal: Designed to help elderly people, or those needing to take medication or supplements regularly. The tamper-proof Pill-pal sorts and dispenses pills automatically, ensuring you get a safe and constant dose every time.
Year 11 – 12
Rory Wade, KidTechnic
Industry Control & Monitoring System for Craft Distillery: Automatic monitoring and maintenance system, enabling more reliable and automatic adjustment of variables affecting distillation, such as temperature and coolant flow rate.
Year 12 is both a start and an ending and this period of change can be stressful. But there is help available if kids seem to be struggling with their mental health.
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