‘Incredible’ student ideas that could change our lives

2022 finalists at a mentoring session at Suncoast Christian College

From solar panel drones to attached reel systems for ECG machines and a device that makes it easier to shop, the Sunshine Coast’s brightest young entrepreneurs and innovators are rising to the challenge.

The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards are hotting up with a record 13 finalists named in Years 9 to 12 across multiple Sunshine Coast schools.

The awards program presents a rare opportunity for student teams to bring their creative ideas or business solution to life.

Finalists will now advance after the opening phase of judging to connect with some of the region’s most successful industry leaders and mentors to further develop their concepts.

2022 finalists at a mentoring session at Suncoast Christian College

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the awards supported the development of ideas that used creativity, innovation or technology to solve a community, environmental or business challenge.

“We’ve had an incredible entries response this year with an increase in schools participating, which includes all schools returning from last year and a great mix of new schools joining the program,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The calibre of applications has been fantastic and it’s great to see the program is building with double the entries from last year.

“From aquaponics to smart life jackets to automated biowaste systems, our future leaders have put forward an incredible array of ideas, many of which align to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which could one day strengthen and enhance capabilities in our region.

“And whether they got through to the next stage or not, we have been so impressed by all the entries this year and thank these students for their innovative thinking and confidence to participate in programs like this.”

Finalists and their amazing ideas (in no particular order):

Burnside State High School

  • Yabbieponics: Repurposing intermediate bulk containers to make fish tanks that can house and grow fish and crustaceans that feed the plants.

Caloundra State High School

  • Accessible Sunshine Coast: A website designed to show accessibility in Caloundra for tourists, visitors and locals, including areas that are bad for sensory sensitivities.

Chancellor State College

  • A-BITE: An improved renewable energy cycle using smart technologies to innovate the capture of under-utilized bioenergy from the Maroochydore Smart City food waste.

Glasshouse Christian College

  • Solbot: Solbot uses drone technology to dispatch autonomous cleaning robots to rejuvenate the efficiency of solar panels.

Matthew Flinders Anglican College

  • MyPark Finder: An app that can be downloaded on all mobile phones which assists people in locating car parks.

Mountain Creek State High School

  • Forever Alive: A smart, self-watering pot plant system to prevent plants dying from incorrect watering.

Suncoast Christian College

  • Send It Siren: A bicycle alarm to detect movement and sound an alarm to scare thieves while also alerting the owner.
  • Sunny Stations: Solar powered electric scooter charging stations in the shape of a palm tree.
  • The Fape: A fake vape that runs off saline solution with 100% chemical free inhalation.

Sunshine Coast Grammar

  • Handi-Shoppa: An accessible shopping cart designed to assist disabled and elderly people.
  • JobsLaunch: A job-seeking app designed specifically for teenagers on the Sunshine Coast.
  • MelodyMatch: A song recommendation algorithm to change how we listen to and experience music.
  • Reel Health: An attachable reel system for a 12-lead ECG machine.

More than 10 mentors have already been confirmed, including Andrew Bradley Professor in Computer Science at UniSC, Dominic Vrolijks Founder at Sunshine Coast Maker Space and Tim Kelly Founding Director at Manufacturing Excellence Forum.

At the conclusion of Phase 2 each team will then put forward a second submission, with all finalists invited to participate in a Live Pitch and Awards Ceremony on July 20, 2023 for their chance to win more than $10,000 in shared prizes.

Sunshine Coast Council is proud to partner with Telstra and Study Sunshine Coast to deliver the 2023 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards exclusively to high schools within the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area.

Key dates:

Friday, May 5 – Finalist teams announced, Phase Two of the competition begins

Wednesday, May 17 – Mentor Workshop 1

Wednesday, May 31 – Mentor Workshop 2

Thursday, June 22 – Phase Two entries close

Thursday, July 20 – Live Pitch and Awards Ceremony For more, visit https://www.studysunshinecoast.com.au/mayors-telstra-innovation-awards-2023/

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