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10 September, 2018

Students go head to head in digital technology heat

AARNet is delighted to once again support a national competition aimed at inspiring young people to engage with digital technology.

Last week, Solutions Architect David Jericho was a judge in the Brisbane heat of Young ICT Explorers, an annual event that challenges school children from Year 3 to Year 12 to put the national ICT curriculum into practice by designing any technology project they are inspired to create.

It’s an end-to-end ICT competition that isn’t focused purely on technology, but rather the identification, applicability, solution and then promotion of a solution.

David described judging the entries over two days as a really rewarding experience.

“Solutions covered platforms that aim to educate people about obsessive compulsive disorders, automated hospital triage systems, discussions on the strengths of Agile vs Scrum methodologies, and toilets that ring the maintenance crews at a stadium to say they’re blocked after recording the fault in a cloud deployed application.

“I saw entries where children had written their own operating system on bare metal on a Raspberry Pi, and developed their own computer programming languages. One year 6 ICT class had broken into four Agile teams to tackle a challenge for a Brisbane City Council program, deploying a gamified solution across seven platforms with physical hardware included, all integrated with the existing project platforms.”

The quality of the entries should dispel any fears held for the IT skills of future generations, said David.

“I have heard professional peers across a wide range of disciplines in ICT lament the future. This competition reaffirms my belief they’re very wrong, and there are some truly brilliant genuine solutions, from even primary school children, for complicated problems that we’ve all witnessed massively funded projects fail to achieve.”

As in previous years, the competition was rewarding — and fun — for students and judges alike.

“The children are hugely enthusiastic, and love to see adults express their interest in their endeavours. I’d highly recommend anyone with time get involved, even for a single day.”

Find out more about Young ICT Explorers.