Young ICT Explorers – Victoria

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The Victorian chapter of the Young ICT Explorers competition was judged yesterday at Deakin University, Burwood. It was delightful to again be on the judging panel.

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Young ICT Explorers is an initiative from the multi-national software company SAP to encourage school students to create ICT related projects. Schools around Australia are linking this competition to a range of curriculum areas and giving students an opportunity to develop their ICT skills and connect with industry.

About 200 students from a range of primary & secondary schools throughout Victoria proudly showed off the projects that they had built for this event to a panel of judges made up of ICT professionals and academics. Each project was assessed on the criteria of creativity, uniqueness, quality, level of difficulty and project documentation.

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Professor John Yearwood (Deakin’s Head of School of information Technology) welcomed the students, parents, academics and ICT professionals who attended. He told us that Information Communications Technologies can be considered the most exciting and important area of study  in this time in history. He just came back from a trip to Israel which he called the start up nation of the world. The Israeli Government encourages start up companies to keep trying even if they fail the first time. They see failing as the potential for growth and further development. A sentiment that education systems around the world could learn from. He encouraged the students who don’t get an award this year to keep developing their skills and ideas and keep striving to be creative.

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Matthias Braun, the Head Judge of Young ICT Explorers, also welcomed everyone and congratulated all the students on what they had achieved to get to this stage.

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I was very impressed with this hologram that was part of an extensive set of additions to a picture story book. This project was built by three very creative Year 9 Haileybury girls. They used Adobe Premiere Pro to help construct the hologram. They even use the new Adobe Fuse CC application to build characters for the story that were printed with a 3D printer.

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A group of boys, also from Haileybury, built a mirror that provides personalised digital information for you while you use it.

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Daniel, from Parade College, created a wonderful online alternative to the paper based Learner Drivers log book. He built it using his developing knowledge of a range of computer languages for online data bases and web development.

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I also had the pleasure of meeting staff and studenst form Toorak College who were incorporating robotics and programing into their regular curriculum in creative ways.

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I congratulate Matthias Braun, Travis Joy, SAP and most importantly all the students who were involved in this amazing event. I encourage all teachers to look sensuously at being involved in this initiative next year.

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