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Tech boot camp inspires MPs

25 November 2015

Australian students have showcased their creativity and STEM skills at a Coding and Innovation Boot Camp for parliamentarians in Canberra today.

Senators and MPs inspected a range of innovative projects from five ACT schools – Turner (primary) School, Canberra Grammar School, St Clare’s College, Canberra Girls Grammar and Gungahlin College – at the Parliament House event hosted by Intel Australia.

The displays included:

  • a rocket to collect climatic data from the atmosphere
  • a smart letterbox which sends you emails on receiving physical mail
  • a digital roll system for schools
  • an app to help developing countries find clean water sources

Launching the boot camp, Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy said the scope of ideas was exciting.

“In an age of technology disruption, we should ask the next generation of Australians not what job do you want but, ‘What problem do you want to solve? How do you want to make the world a better place?’” Mr Roy said.

“With their range and depth of clever thinking, the students here today are no doubt on the path to becoming our next generation of inventors, innovators and scientists.

“For them to reach their full potential –  particularly around STEM and digi-tech skills – in a disrupted economy, we need to develop links between education and the private sector and it’s fantastic to see that sort of collaboration occurring.”

Managing Director of Intel Australia Kate Burleigh said Intel’s program was about broadening and deepening interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

“Inspiring students to create with technology, to problem-solve and to innovate is essential to the growth of our economy,” Ms Burleigh said,

“Around two thirds of primary school students today will go into jobs that haven’t even been invented yet.

“All industries – whether it’s manufacturing, agriculture, finance, healthcare, retail – are being disrupted by technological innovation.

“Through the guidance of their teachers, but also with the support of industry and governments, students can learn – and are learning – to become creators, designers and inventors of technology, not just users, players and consumers.”

The five ACT schools have been involved with Intel’s pilot education program on innovation in education – focusing on students as creators, rather than just consumers, of technology.

Media contacts: Mr Roy's office 02 6277 4646