Celebrating Australia’s top student inventors - Education Matters Magazine
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Celebrating Australia’s top student inventors


Some of Australia’s top student inventors have been revealed following the national final of the Young ICT Explorers competition, where inventions aimed at changing the world took centre stage.

This was the 10th rendition of the competition, which is run by software company SAP Australia. It is open to school students from Years 3 to 12. Winners receive mentoring to develop their project further, as well as cash prizes.

The competition is aligned with the school curriculum so students can apply what they learn in the ICT/Digital Technologies classroom to develop a technology related project of their choice. Students are tasked with creating something that solves a problem, using any technology such as software, apps, robots, websites, games or virtual reality.

Over 1200 Australian students took part in the Young ICT Explorers competition in 2019. And, for the first time, half the entries were from female students. The program is supported by several universities including UNSW, Deakin University, Queensland University, University of South Australia, and James Cook University. Additional partners include CSIRO, the Australian Computer Society and The Smith Family charity.

Throughout 2019, students presented their projects and pitched their ideas to judges at regional and state competitions which have taken place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Auckland. Over 50 winners of every age-category from each roadshow event competed at the national final, judged by tech experts from universities, government and business.

Australia’s top student inventors were revealed at the recent final, held at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. The 2019 national winners include:

MemoryBuddy (Year 3-4 category)

Created by Lucas Buchanan (pictured), 11, Bondi Public School, NSW

MemoryBuddy is a voice app designed to help people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It features two parts – a voice activated app to be used by dementia suffers and a portal for carers to input personalised care plans which are then accessed through the voice app.

It was inspired by his grandfather who lives with dementia and is designed to give people with dementia regular reminders about their day-to-day tasks.

Aquerator (Year 5-6 category)

Created by Lawson Gallup, Gabrielle Simcox, 13, Auburn South Primary School, VIC

Inspired by images of dead fish in the Darling-Murray river, Aquerator is a mobile self-sustaining water aerator robot, designed to aerate stagnant river systems by providing oxygen to dying fish. The robot, which is solar powered, is also a solution to algae detection.

Bin It Right Waste Management App (Year 9-10 category)

Lucy Lonnqvist, Poppy Briggs, St Mary’s Anglican Girls School, WA

Bin It Right aims to solve the problem of improper waste disposal with its unique photo recognition feature. This feature allows users to simply take a photo of an item if they are unsure what bin it belongs in, and the app then scans the image and indicates whether the item belongs in the green, waste or recycling bin.

“It’s amazing to see some of the inspirational inventions these kids are coming up with. Not only are they trying to solve some incredibly difficult issues from dementia to climate change, they also demonstrate an impressive array of skills like coding, robotics and engineering. These are exactly the types of skills that will be essential for the workforce of the future,” said Pete Andrew, Chief Operating Officer, SAP Australia.

“At SAP, we’re proud to work with so many schools from across the country to show how technology can have a positive impact on the world. We hope to inspire the next generation of coders and scientists, inventors and developers, by showing that working with tech can be fun and also help to solve real-world problems.”

To view the full list of winners, please click here.

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