Flinders students pushing new boundaries with life-changing solutions for real-world problems

Proving it's never too early to foster an entrepreneurial spirit, 48 Matthew Flinders Anglican College Year 6 and 7 students last week participated in the College’s first 'Ideas that Make a Difference' free academic enrichment day.

The event was managed by Flinders’ Middle School students and involved a mix of guest speaker presentations and hands-on workshops to explore how technology can be used to benefit the lives of others.

Inspiring guest speakers included Dr John Kerr, Associate Professor of Informatics at the University of the Sunshine Coast and Mr Bernie Craven, a local hairdresser responsible for recycling plastic shampoo bottles into prosthetics for people in need in third world countries.

Hands-on workshops were also delivered by Flinders educators with skills in such areas as technology and the use of real and virtual worlds to aid people with disabilities; sustainability, waste management and growing food to protect the earth’s natural resources; and medical engineering to design a prosthetic leg.

Flinders Head of Curriculum Mr Bill Hooper said, “Entrepreneurship and creative problem solving are embedded in the Flinders curriculum and the ‘Ideas that Make a Difference’ event spotlights how complex, real-world problems can be solved with nimble thinking and applied technology.

"This generation of students will use constantly evolving technology to solve real-world problems and instinctively develop a culture of collaboration. Problem-solving will be imperative to their success," Mr Hooper said.

Year 6 student Tim particularly enjoyed putting classroom theory into action throughout the workshops.

"I really like technology and I liked ‘Ideas that Make a Difference’ because it helps me to see how I can use the skills I already have to help people in the future," Tim said.

Working behind the scenes of the event was the Middle School Event Management team, Zoe McKenzie, Ava Rousell, Elizabeth Setchell, Bianca Elms and Sirana McGill, who worked together with staff to plan and organise the day.

The team was ably supported by the student media team members; Zoe McKenzie, Ava Rousell and Bianca Elms, who documented, filmed and interviewed students participating in the event.


Main photo caption: L-R: Flinders' Ideas That Make a Difference event team: Elizabeth Setchell, Sirana McGill, Zoe McKenzie, Bianca Elms, Ava Rousell

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