Schools in NSW deliver strong ICT talents in the Young ICT Explorers student competition

Student competition addresses fears for the future of the ICT Industry by inspiring innovation and creativity in schools

Sydney, AustraliaSAP celebrated the young talents that emerged from the Young ICT Explorers (YICTE) school competition which concluded with tremendous results on Saturday 31st August.

158 students in NSW from four age brackets across years 4 to 12 gathered together to demonstrate their creativity and technology innovation.

Run by SAP Australia in partnership with The University of New South Wales (UNSW), the not-for-profit event looks to help plug the ICT skills gap in Australia by encouraging innovation and a passion for technology in schools.

A report released last month by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency found that while the majority of Australia’s industry sectors will be transformed or benefit significantly from ICT by 2050, the projected growth of the industry will not be enough to meet business demand for ICT.

The report found that the negative perception of the ICT industry, especially in schools, is preventing students from considering careers in this area. The YICTE competition is designed to address this issue, aligning with the curriculum and encouraging students to create and innovate with ICT, while also gaining a greater understanding of the possibilities that technology has to offer.

“It is not just important that we encourage school students to participate in ICT, it is a necessity. At a time when Australia is witnessing a decline in the growth of the ICT industry, it becomes critical that we take action to address this at a grass roots level to drive a turnaround for the future of our Industry and our country,” said Greg Miller, COO, SAP Australia and New Zealand.

“The YICTE competition is important because it helps students understand the impact that ICT can have on society and equip them with the skills to be a part of making a difference to the world around them. It encourages students to be creative and different in their use of technology. The projects we saw in the competition this year have shown that for these kids, when it comes to technology, the sky really is their limit,” comments Maurice Pagnucco, Head of Computer Science and Engineering, UNSW.

From the judging panel, Tim Catley, Group Chief Operating Officer of Transport for New South Wales said: “it is great to see so many students getting involved in the industry from such a young age. The quality of the projects was incredible and the have set the bar high for the industry and the Young ICT Explorers competition in the future.”

“The Young ICT Explorers competition was an amazing experience and I can’t wait for next year. My experience in the competition has increased my passion levels for the IT industry and I will definitely consider a career in the industry because of it,” commented Viney Kumar from Chatswood High School, the first prize winner of the year 9 to 10 category.

The other winning teams on the day are from:

  • Abbotsleigh Junior School
  • Roseville College
  • Hunter Valley Grammar
  • Newington College
  • Parramatta Marist
  • Knox Grammar
  • Monte Sant’Angelo Mercy College
  • James Ruse Agricultrual High School
  • Chatswood High School
  • Oxford Falls Grammar School

You can find more information about the winning teams and their projects at: http://youngictexplorers.net.au/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=60&Itemid=92

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 and curriculum. This year’s projects don’t just showcase the latest technology, like an arduino hand-censor controlled robot, but also aim to create positive social and environmental impact. Projects include a robot mouse to discourage cats from hunting live creatures, an iPad app that helps teach phonics and a hexacoptor with inbuilt GPS and video camera to assist emergency services with rescue missions.

This year, SAP has partnered with NICTA, the University of QLD as well as the University of NSW, who provide the venues and the judges for the final judging events in each state. The QLD judging event was held on Saturday 10th August at the University of Queensland and the NSW judging event was held on 31st August at UNSW.

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 organisations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 238,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

About Young ICT Explorers
Young ICT Explorers is a schools based competition run by SAP in Queensland and New South Wales for the past four years. School students are asked to enter ICT related projects in any field of study or topic of interest. The competition helps nurture, grow and encourage young minds to take up the challenge of Information Communication technology.

For more information, visit the Young ICT Explorers website.

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For more information, press only:

Rachel Dixon, +61 434 408 991, Rachel.dixon01@sap.com
Danielle Zhu, +61 422 644 248, Danielle@howorth.com.au

*Appendix: NSW schools participating in this year’s competition

  • Abbotsleigh Junior School
  • Chatswood High School
  • Cranbrook Junior School
  • De la Salle College, Revesby Heights
  • Dunoon Public School
  • Emanuel School
  • Gilroy Catholic College
  • Hunter Valley Grammar
  • James Ruse Agricultural High School
  • Kanahooka High School
  • Knox Grammar
  • Macarthur Anglican School
  • Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College
  • Newington College
  • Newington College Junior
  • Newington College Prep School
  • Northern Beaches Christian School
  • Oxford Falls Grammar School
  • Parramatta Marist High School
  • Roseville College
  • Strathfield Girls’ high school
  • Wahroonga Public School