SAP’s Young ICT Explorers competition reveals Australia’s top student inventors

SYDNEY, Australia 3 March, 2022 Today, Australia’s most innovative student inventors have been revealed, with the winners of SAP SE’s (NYSE: SAP) Young ICT Explorers competition announced after a virtual finals event.

Now in its 13th year, with the support of CSIRO Digital Careers, The Smith Family, Kinetic IT and School Bytes, the national not-for-profit competition encourages primary and high school students from years three to 12 to use their imagination and passion to create an invention that could change the world using the power of technology.

The Hon. Victor Dominello MP, NSW Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government opened the event, saying: “We know the future of work will continue to rely more and more on ICT skills, that’s why it’s so important we encourage children to explore technology from an early age. I welcome SAP and its partners’ efforts to continue to facilitate this opportunity for our next generation.

“If this year’s finalists are anything to go by, we can look forward to many talented young inventors pursuing promising careers in ICT in the future.”

Working independently or in teams of up to four, 723 students from 76 schools across the country submitted technology-based projects that solve a real-world problem – from creating a better way to recycle; to supporting the community’s most vulnerable; and emergency and crisis preparedness.

31 finalist teams across five age groups pitched their projects virtually to an industry judging panel, with the winners and runners up then crowned at a virtual awards ceremony last night. Two NSW young inventors (Years 3-4 and 11-12), a VIC-based team and VIC independent entrant (Years 7-8 and 9-10) and a QLD team (Year 5-6 category) took home the top prizes.

SAP has an existing partnership with The Smith Family to help narrow the digital divide through SAP’s Young ICT Explorers Accelerator Program. The initiative is designed to provide schools and teachers in low socio-economic communities with the resources and knowledge needed to prepare more young Australians for the digital careers of the future. This year, a record 30 per cent of participants in the Young ICT Explorers competition came from The Smith Family partner schools.

Judy Barraclough, Deputy CEO, The Smith Family, said: “It’s vital that students experiencing disadvantage are given support to access the technology and training they need to fully participate in their education, and an increasingly STEM-focused labour market. We’re grateful to SAP for investing in our students, allowing them to strengthen their digital skills, improve their educational outcomes and create better futures for themselves.

“Well done to all the incredible students who participated in the Young ICT Explorers competition this year.”

Pete Andrew, Head of Industries, SAP Australia and New Zealand and YICTE Executive Sponsor, said: “Every year I’m amazed by the creativity, passion and professionalism displayed by all the students who participate. This year’s competition was particularly meaningful, given the challenging circumstances both students and teachers have dealt with throughout the pandemic.”

“It is so inspiring to see that these youngsters’ passion to invent and create has not waned but grown. I’ve seen an impressive array of skills like coding, robotics and understanding of engineering being applied to tackling big societal and environmental issues. At SAP we’re proud to play a part in helping more Australian students from diverse backgrounds understand how they can leverage the power of technology to change the world and improve people’s lives”.

The winners include:
Year 3-4 category: Medibot 2.0, by Sol Crisp, West Pymble Public School, NSW

  • A pill reminder system based on voice recognition technology, allowing a carer to enter the pills a patient needs to take, and record whether they have been taken

Year 5-6 category: Stretchy 365, by Lucinda Coyle and Lincoln Rucker, St Joseph’s Bardon, QLD

  • A micro-bit that detects the amount of tension in a stretch sensor to indicate if a potential asthma attack could be coming on

Year 7-8 category: BRAID – Bushfire Recovery AI Drone, by Chengyun Xu, Nabhanya Gupta, Vinay Raghavan and Sanjay Parappat, Haileybury, VIC

  • A drone which utilises artificial intelligence to analyse acreage and provides telemetry on what it has observed, for harvesting purposes and the examination of land for water or dried leaf patches

Year 9-10 category: The Giraffe Walker, by Rebecca Paratz, Bailik College, VIC

  • A self-levelling, intelligent, all-terrain walker which allows the elderly to safely travel up and down stairs and traverse uneven surfaces

Year 11-12 category: SatAlight, by Dong Duong {Dylan} Nguyen, St Andrew’s Cathedral School, NSW

  • An AI system built to rapidly assess the bush fire proneness of land areas, using satellite imagery to accurately classify vegetation based on its bushfire risk

Pre-registration is open for the 2022 Young ICT Explorers competition now – teachers and parents/guardians can register their interest here.