Three teams from South Grafton Public School have been selected to represent the North Coast regions at the semi-finals of the Game Changer Challenge in Term 4.
Three teams from South Grafton Public School have been selected to represent the North Coast regions at the semi-finals of the Game Changer Challenge in Term 4.

South Grafton Public reach finals of Game Changer Challenge

THREE teams from South Grafton Public School are among the 420 students from across NSW who are putting their design and thinking skills to use to try and solve real world problems for the 2020 Game Changer Challenge.

Hundreds of applications from NSW public schools were received for the Game Changer Challenge, which this year will be delivered as a colossal virtual event with seven semi-finals culminating in a grand final.

The 84 primary and secondary student teams announced today will aim to solve the real world problem: "How might we use technology to bring everyone in our community closer together?"

The student applications covered COVID-19 restrictions, including innovative ways to social distance and sanitise, cutting-edge technology like aerial transport systems, and new ways to ease social isolation, combat racism and build community for people with disability.

Department of Education secretary Mark Scott said today's students will solve the great challenges of the future.

"To flourish in this world they will need to be deep thinkers, critical and reflective, empathetic and creative," he said.

"The Game Changer Challenge aims to highlight and develop these future-focused skills."

The 84 student teams were judged into the semi-finals by a panel of Department of Education executives and design thinking and STEM advisers. The judges were looking for the design thinking trifecta of desirability, feasibility and viability in the students' applications.

Design thinking is a human-centred approach to solving complex problems, with empathy and collaboration at the heart of the process.

The five-step process starts by encouraging problem solvers to walk in the shoes of those experiencing the 'problem' to gain a deeper insight into the challenges and issues they face (empathy).

This knowledge is then used to develop a clear problem statement (define), work on solutions (ideate), turn these solutions into tangible products (prototype) and then see whether the solution will work (test).

The teams selected for the 2020 Game Changer Challenge will attend an intensive workshop in the semi-finals from October 27 to November 13 where they will learn and apply the design thinking process to build on their video application.

They will be guided through the process by expert facilitators and a series of videos produced with thought leaders in technology and innovation. Professional development in design thinking is available for teachers.

The winners of the seven semi-finals will be judged in a virtual grand final event for the title of 2020 Game Changer Challenge Champion on December 1.

•A list of the semi-finalists is attached and available on the Game Changer Challenge website - education.nsw.gov.au/game-changer-challenge



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