SAP Australia launches popular Young ICT Explorers Competition in NSW

Creativity and innovation competition now open to
all primary and secondary schools in NSW and Qld

SydneySAP Research, the global technology research unit of SAP AG, today announced the expansion of the Young ICT Explorers competition into NSW. The Young ICT Explorers is a not-for-profit event, initiated by SAP in Australia in partnership with the University of Queensland (UQ) to encourage innovation in schools. The competition has been running in Qld primary and secondary schools for the last two years.

Students compete in teams across four age groupings from Years Four to Twelve. The competition aims to encourage and inspire school students to use their creativity and innovation skills to gain a greater understanding of the diverse possibilities today’s technology has to offer.

The NSW judging event will be held on Saturday 4th August 2012 at University of NSW, with the Queensland event to take place on 11th August 2012 at University of Queensland.

Glenn Neuber, Senior Business Developer at SAP Research Labs said: “Smart phones, tablets and social media tools have only been around for a few short years, yet these technologies are rapidly changing many aspects of how we work and socially interact.

Government policies on education are now reflecting ways in which innovation capabilities in students can be developed through technologies and education, with the goal of building an innovation skills base in Australia.

The Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008) notes that ‘rapid and continuing advances in ICT are changing the ways people share, use, develop and process information and technology. In this digital age, young people need to be highly skilled in the use of ICT.

Maurice Pagnucco, Head, School of Computer Science and Engineering, UNSW said: “ICT has changed the way we work over several decades. More importantly it is now having a significant effect on the way we live our social lives, on how we learn and on how we consume news and media – it has significantly changed the way we interact and deal with the people and world around us. The Young ICT Explorers competition provides an exciting and challenging way for students to become familiar with new technologies and to be a part of the ICT revolution”.

Professor Kathryn Moyle , Executive Director, Charles Darwin University’s Centre for School Leadership, Learning and Development said: “Building technology innovation programs into school education provides teachers with the opportunity to recalibrate learning and teaching, so that it becomes more relevant to the generation of IT-savvy children who will be going through school in the next 10 – 15 years.

“IT investment in schools goes beyond just providing hardware and software to schools. Students need to experience, experiment and collaborate with technology, and the Young ICT Explorers programs provides the type of hands-on experience that enables IT learning in a very practical way,” Professor Moyle said.

“This competition provides a fun and challenging way for schools to encourage students to engage in an ICT related project, to collaborate, think outside the square, and use their creativity to innovate,” Mr Neuber said.

We are very excited at the popularity of the Young ICT Explorers competition within schools, and the contribution that it will make to helping students build a strong future in creative thinking and innovation in Australia.

About the Competition
Young ICT Explorers encourages students to develop technology projects and share their creative ideas in a structured environment, supported by their schools. It covers a broad range of projects and does not focus on a specific IT-topic. Each project is assessed on the criteria of creativity, uniqueness, quality, level of difficulty and project documentation. This allows students and teachers to work together and align potential entries with the school curriculum, enabling students to apply what they’ve learnt in the classroom.

Students then have the opportunity to present their projects to a judging panel of academics, industry partners and ICT professionals and they are able to network with other kids from other schools with the same interests. They compete in teams across four age groupings from Years 4-12. The competition aims to encourage and inspire students to build their creative abilities, to innovate, communicate and collaborate with each other while working their IT related project.

SAP has partnered with the University of Qld and University of NSW, who provide the venues for the final judging event in each state, as well as judges.

Schools must register to take part by the 25th May 2012 and submit projects by the 29th June in NSW, and the 2nd July in Queensland. Registration can be completed online at www.youngictexplorers.net.au.

Follow the Young ICT Explorers on Twitter: @youngICTExplore
Join us on Facebook: YoungICTExplorers

About SAP Research Labs
SAP Research spreads its research and development activities around the globe. Currently, their thriving network comprises of 19 locations worldwide, including their headquarters in Walldorf, and numerous partners from the business and academic worlds. (Additional information is available at www.sap.com/research.)

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 176,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

Follow SAP Australia on Twitter at @sapanz

For more information, press only:
Wendy Hill, SAP, 0478 301 641, wendy.hill@sap.com,

Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Dec 2008.
On 5 December 2008, State, Territory and Commonwealth Ministers of Education meeting as the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, released the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians which sets the direction for Australian schooling for the next 10 years. The Goals were developed by Education Ministers in collaboration with the Catholic and independent school sectors, following public consultation on the draft declaration.
More information: www.mceetya.edu.au

Professor Kathryn Moyle is author of the Australian Council for Education Research paper, Building Innovation: Learning with Technologies which explores national and international policy priorities for building students’ innovation capabilities through information and communication technologies (ICT) in Australian schools.