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Students to work together for innovation awards

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St Luke's Anglican School's Hein Kuyler, Joshua Marinelli and Hendre Kirchner from Team Kyoor in the 2019 Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards.

In just over two weeks, students from across the region will be putting their innovative ideas to the test for the Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards.

Now in its second year the awards event highlights innovative thinking among the region's youth.

Participants are given seven weeks to design a new idea- whether it’s a new app, a tech-savvy health program or even a crazy gadget, and will go in the running to win in a share of $10,000 in prizes.

Kepnock State High School teacher Nicole Amey said the school had been part of the event previously and found it had greatly benefited students involved.

“The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards is an exciting platform for Bundaberg to recognise students as upcoming entrepreneurs of our future,” Nicole said.

“The awards develops students divergent thinking skills in a creative and critical sense which not only enables entrepreneurship but also fine tunes collaboration, communication and creativity to nurture the ideation process of design.”

Through the exploration of new technological ideas and working together in a team network, students will be planning, designing and creating in order to get their projects off the ground.

Businesses and students focused on innovation

Head of Middle School Matthew Hughes at St. Luke's Anglican School said the competition was a positive concept for all involved.

“The best part of the Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards, and something that is different to the other innovation challenges around, is the weekly access to the mentors in preparation for the final two rounds of the awards,” he said.

“The students teams from St Luke's who participated last year were absolutely thrilled with the whole experience and noted that they learned so much about themselves, about teamwork and about how to progress an innovation from idea to actual product.

“It is excellent that the Bundaberg Regional Council has committed to the Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards again in 2020.”

Mentors from businesses around the region will soon work with student teams to help them develop there innovative ideas as the competition progresses.

Dr John McGrath, Lecturer of School and Business Law at CQUniversity will be taking part in the mentoring sessions this year.

“The engagement of the Bundaberg Regional Council with the Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards sends a strong message that significant local stakeholders are supportive of innovation,” he said.

“It gives the students an opportunity to test their innovative ideas in the public arena. It will also hone their communication and presentation skills, attributes that are essential in most occupations.”

Dr McGrath said the awards event did well to shine a light on future innovative thinkers.

“Innovation holds the promise of solving both current and future problems,” he said.

“STEM is the vehicle through which much of that innovation will be delivered.”

To find out more about the Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards click here.

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