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Gin Gin State High School wins innovation awards

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The Gin Gin State High School team who came first in the 2021 Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards with Mayor Jack Dempsey and Cr Wayne Honor

The Gin Gin State High School team's idea to develop a climate-controlled facility which would allow crops to grow year-round won the 2021 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards.

The winning team, Production Bubble, was made up of Grade 10 students Lachlan Simpson, Jake Gillespie and Georgia Jarvis who came up with the idea which would allow people to grow plants in optimum conditions year round.

“Our project was a facility that was able to supply controlled conditions to the plants, being able to replicate any seasonal climates so plants can grow when they usually can’t when they are out of season,” Jake said.

“We came up with this particular project because we thought it would be good for the community and for families who want to grow at home.”

The team said being able to participate in the awards had been a fantastic opportunity to grow and develop new skills.

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The winning team, Production Bubble, was made up of Grade 10 students Lachlan Simpson, Jake Gillespie and Georgia Jarvis from Gin Gin State High School.

“It has been great to be able to learn from all the other groups and be able to progress our ideas,” Lachlan said.

“We are the young people and we are the ones who are going to be figuring out a way to stop world problems like climate change.

“It’s not going to be up to the adults it is going to be up to us so we have to start now.”

Telstra’s Community Engagement Manager Scott Mullay said while it was a hard decision to pick a winner, the scalability of Production Bubble’s idea is what got them over the line.

“We felt that the Production Bubble team just had the edge with an idea that was unique and really scalable,” Mr Mullay said.

“It has got huge potential throughout the domestic markets and we really think there is a big application from agriculture to take this to a bigger level as well.”

Scott said he encouraged participants to continue to pursue their ideas.

“I would encourage every single person, not only those who made the finals, to run with their passion,” Mr Mullay said.

“Some of these things take years, it could be ten years until it is a reality but don’t let go because I guarantee you someone else is probably going to pick it up in some kind of way, so take ownership of it now and run with it.”

Mayor Jack Dempsey said the Bundaberg Region had always fostered a culture of innovation and was looking forward to seeing this continue with the next generation of leaders, businesspeople and entrepreneurs.

“The awards encourage innovation and entrepreneurs by helping students in the Bundaberg Region unlock their problem-solving potential and take their big technology ideas to the next level,” he said.

“Congratulations to all who were involved in the awards this year, and to the winners from Gin Gin State High school.”

Finalists included teams from Shalom College in second and third place, with Bundaberg Christian College, Kepnock State High School and St Luke’s Anglican School also making the finals.

The Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards were launched in 2019 and had the highest number of entries of any other regional council in Queensland.

This year, six of the eight secondary schools in the Bundaberg Region participated with 19 entries in total.