Student innovators it’s your time to shine
  • Monday 04 February 2019
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Sunshine Coast students get ready! The 2019 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards are now open for entries.

High school students in Years’ 10 to 12 on the Sunshine Coast are encouraged to get together with their school mates, form a team and start thinking about that great app or invention they’re interested in developing, and submit an entry before April 5, 2019.

The competition, which is delivered by Sunshine Coast Council in partnership with Telstra, brings creative ideas to life, while connecting students with industry mentors to develop their entrepreneurial thinking. 

Mayor Mark Jamieson said council is proud to partner with Telstra to deliver this annual awards program.

“The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards are a great incentive for young people to further develop their skills in the entrepreneurial space and showcase the talents and ingenuity,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“We know that many of the jobs and careers of the future will be built around STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, so it’s incredibly important that we support schools and programs like these awards, which help to reinforce our objectives for our healthy, smart and creative region.

“As a community we are already seeing the benefits from the competition, with an increase in programs like robotics and coding being offered in schools and through extra-curricular activities.

“That’s great news for the future advancement of our region.”

Telstra Regional General Manager May Boisen said Telstra was proud to be working again with Mayor Jamieson and Sunshine Coast Council to bring these awards to life for the 4th year running.  

“The Sunshine Coast is a great region that’s fostering talent and really looking to show young people new ways of thinking through technology and innovation,” Ms Boisen said.

“The awards aren’t all about winning. They offer a wonderful opportunity for students to network, explore and develop their passion for entrepreneurship and gain real life experience, skills and knowledge from professional mentors to prepare them for the next step in their journey.

“We are excited to see what ideas the students of the Sunshine Coast have in store for us this year.”

Last year the all-girl team, RoboGems, from Chancellor State College, took out the top honour with their invention, Kitchen Top Helper (KHT).

RoboGems team members Sarah Eisenmenger, Zara Barnsley and Ellie Vloedmans, developed an automated irrigation system to water micro greens in small spaces such as kitchen tops or balconies.

“When we first designed the KTH, we were focussed on how we could make the product better, but the mentors showed us that it’s not about us, it’s about the customers and how we can make their life better and the global community’s life better,” said Ms Eisnemenger.

“Our team name, RoboGems, stands for Girls in Engineering, Maths and Science and we’re ambassadors for girls and women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers. We think it’s really important for the future.

“Being involved in the competition was such a great experience. I would definitely encourage students across the Sunshine Coast to get involved. Plus with $10,000 in prizes up for grabs, it’s even more reason to enter!”

For teachers and parents wanting to find out more, Sunshine Coast Council will be holding an information session at Venue 114, Bokarina on February 14 at 5.30pm.

To download entry forms or register for the information session visit https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/techawards

ENDS