Year 8 students prove they can change the world with technology

After three months, five quiz rounds and eight terrific finalist projects, we are excited to finally announce the winner of Monday’s 2018 TCS GoIT Challenge Grand Final.

The TCS GoIT Challenge was created to inspire Year 8 students to think differently about technology and promote innovation in Australian schools. It provides students with a focused opportunity to learn aspects of how technology works and, more importantly, how to apply technology to any industry or community problem. We want to show young people that they have the power to change the world for good.

Hosted at the UNSW Engineering Faculty, the Grand Final saw projects that addressed contemporary issues as varied as homelessness, global warming, sexual harassment and mental health in competition for Australia’s most innovative school.

After competing in at least three of the five quiz rounds, the finalists were invited to submit a community project for consideration in the grand final round. Each quiz round covered a specific aspect of technology, including social, mobile, artificial intelligence, cloud and analytics.

All finalists travelled to Sydney to present their work, meet their competition and network with industry figures. The TCS GoIT Challenge judging panel was made up of prominent industry and university thinkers.

And the winner is...

Caroline Chisholm School in Glenmore, NSW, took out first prize for their community services app, “iVolunteer”. The app aims to encourage young people between the ages of 13 and 17 to support local businesses and people in their communities. Users are directed to specific sustainability goals, like buying from local businesses of opting to walk instead of driving. Users are encouraged to upload their efforts to support their community into an online scrapbook.

The runner-up was Academy of Mary Immaculate from Melbourne with their “Happy Days” app, designed to help teenagers who are experiencing stress and low self-esteem.

Other notable mentions included: Gosford High School, who solved the dilemma of canteen lunch orders with an online ordering portal; a stylish yet discrete wristband entered by Burwood Girls High School, which sends pre-written text messages to a designated recipient, like a parent, to prevent harassment towards young women and girls; St Monica’s College Epping, who created a device that can tell the difference between ocean waste and living things using a cardiac sensor; and Rose Bay Secondary College who created their own transport app to share school bus routes – congratulations all!

Encouraging a new generation of STEM talent

TCS is passionate about nurturing future STEM workers. Aside from our responsibility as an organization to give back by encouraging new innovative thinkers, we are also aware shortage predictions of up to 500,000 skilled information and communications technology workers in Europe as early as 2020. A 2017 study also reported that enrolment in STEM subjects in Australian schools are at their lowest level in 20 years.

We work to promote STEM in schools by making learning fun, practical and accessible to young people through the TCS GoIT Challenge, as well as our GoIT Girls program, GoIT mentoring initiatives, and a new online program coming in 2019.

Find out more about our GoIT programs here, or check in with our #DigitalEmpowers campaign and see how we’re helping communities build a sustainable world.

STEM Role Models and Heroes

For their terrific efforts, all finalist schools have been acknowledged as STEM Role Models and Heroes. Stay tuned for more by following #STEMHeroes on social.