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Regional students’ tech solutions for real life problems

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The regions obviously do tech well with four teams of high school students from rural Australia taking part in a three-day challenge to design and present tech solutions to real-world problems facing their communities and arriving at some very advanced conclusions.

At Telstra Vantage 2019 in Melbourne, ‘Tomorrow’s leaders embracing technology for change’ saw high school students complete a design thinking process, identify the real-world problem facing their community, create and ideate potential solutions, develop a business model, validate, prototype and pitch their ideas during a showcase to a panel of judges.

Judges included Sally Capp, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Mike Ebeid, Telstra Enterprise Group Executive, Jackie Coates, Head of Telstra Foundation and Kate Stewart, Telstra Head of Education Partnerships.

The tech solutions have real-world applications and left thejudges and audience with an incredible insight into what our future leaders have in mind for how technology will be used to solve problems in regional communities.

Farm Watch: health tracking data for farm animals
Narromine High School, Narromine (West of Dubbo)
This team’s idea comes from using existing tracking systems (wearable tech bands for livestock) to an app that extracts research from data sets collected from the tracking systems. The data collected can be sold or donated to science or research and help educate schools and the public.

Link Lamp: connecting people through light to relieve loneliness
Keira High School, Wollongong
How might we make people who are lonely feel more connected to others? This team came up with smart connected lamps that are paired so when one person touches their lamp, it sends a signal to the other one resulting in light appearing. This shows that the other person is thinking of them and they are not alone.

Travel on the Gravel: VR learning experiences for long bus rides to school
Trangie High School, Trangie (West of Dubbo)
Bus companies find that students get up to mischief on long bus rides. Students find bus travel boring and parents want their kids to productively use their time on long bus rides. If local buses have virtual reality headsets, bus trips could educate and entertain youth and allow the students to virtually experience situations they wouldn’t normally be exposed to.

Happy Patch Packs: veggie garden packs using sensors connected to an app
Trangie High School, Trangie (West of Dubbo)
How might we help local families grow fresh produce without using too much of available water resources? This team wants to create a self-watering/data measuring fresh fruit and vegetable garden growing kit helping people in remote or drought-affected communities to gain access to fresh food.

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