Recently, 20 of our Year 9 Business students bravely volunteered to attend the Sunshine Coast Big Ideas Challenge. The free event, hosted by Future Anything, an organisation that delivers entrepreneurial programs to schools, brought together 80 students from several schools across the Sunshine Coast in an entrepreneurial, skills-focused, problem-solving challenge. In the short space of five hours, the students were invited to step out of their comfort zones and collaborate with students from the other schools to identify a relatable problem, find a team of people who share a connection to this problem, design a solution, create a prototype and present a 60-second pitch to other teams. This was no mean feat, but where there’s an award at stake, it’s not surprising that the students rose to the occasion with energy and enthusiasm. Students came out of the day with new ways of thinking about their futures, a new approach to skills that will be essential for their future, some great ideas for ways to solve the big issues in society, new friends, and new-found confidence. It was a privilege as their teacher, to witness the authentic and relevant learning that took place for all of our students.
A word from one of the winners…
Before the day, I went into it thinking that it was going to be just a day that I would get to spend thinking about real-world problems and solutions, similar to other activities that I had participated in before. I thought that I would be there just doing as you do and let someone else take the show with their outstanding, world-changing idea. I actually said to one of my friends that there would be one kid who would probably go on to be a nominee for the ‘Young Entrepreneur’ Award and we would just be there as extras. However, it didn’t end up like that. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and loved the opportunity it gave us to actually think about real-world problems and have an unjudged go at solving them. We were given the space to collaborate with students from other schools which gave us a broader perspective of the other people around us and more importantly, an insight into ideas that we may not have come up with ourselves. I learnt the importance of thinking critically about problems and the necessity of critical thinkers in today’s world. We were told on the day that now, knowledge is not necessarily what employers are after as anyone can learn anything by just typing it into Google but responsible use of information is what people wish to encourage. Overall, a great day and a spectacular opportunity.
To top off the success of the day, three of our students, Noah Cobb, Oliver Thornton, and Josh Ford took out the Grand Final and were the winners for the day, each receiving a $25 gift voucher. The boys very confidently pitched their idea of ‘Renew.IO’ – an interactive game on a mobile app. The game starts with a polluted city and the goal is for the player to improve the city to become sustainable and environmentally conscious. This educational game teaches awareness and practical ways to solve some of the biggest problems of renewable energy for society. It’s with ideas like these that we can have confidence in our emerging young adults that they are aware of the big issues and given the opportunity, are willing to step up and take action. The Big Ideas Challenge is a small-scale version of The DeLorean Project, that our Year 10 GCC students have the unique opportunity to experience. The incoming cohort will be another one to watch as they embrace the opportunity to solve real-world problems and develop their ideas into real-world solutions.
See all the photos HERE.