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Game Changer Challenge finalists announced

11 Jul 2018

Game Changer finalists

Superfast scooters to transport students between classes, time travel excursions to key moments in history, sustainable schools that are self-sufficient in power, water and food and real-time brain scans to track student learning and wellbeing.

These are just some of the futuristic visions that helped propel 16 NSW school teams into the finals of the Game Changer Challenge which will be held in Sydney during Education Week from August 6-10.

The inaugural Game Changer Challenge aimed to showcase the theme of this year's Education Week, Today's schools – creating tomorrow's world, with students and teachers working together to co-design the school of the future.

The finalists – eight teams each from NSW public primary and secondary schools  – were selected from more than 99 entries, who each submitted a 60-second video outlining their vision for a school of the future.

Armidale High School teacher librarian Jessica Brennan helped coordinate a joint entry with Duval High School as the two schools will amalgamate into one campus from next year.

To select their entry, the schools ran their own competition with six teams of students from both high schools collaborating on their visions.

The winning entry was selected by the school community after they were presented during a film night that included popcorn and lolly bars.

"We are so thankful we got involved," Ms Brennan said. "This has been project-based learning at its most authentic."

The combined Armidale-Duval High team will join the other 15 finalists for a three-day, intensive design-thinking workshop in Sydney.

The workshop includes teacher training in the use of design thinking as a teaching methodology and its application for school planning.

It will also include a team competition where schools will work under the guidance of industry professionals in fields as diverse as technology, creative design and foreign affairs to design the school of the future.

The challenge winner will be selected after a Shark Tank-style pitch to industry and education experts, including Department of Education Secretary Mark Scott.

The finalists in the primary section are:

  • Lidcombe Public School
  • Ingleburn Public School
  • Oakhill Drive Public School
  • Cherrybrook Public School
  • Cudgegong Valley Public School
  • Alstonville Public School
  • Thirroul Public School
  • Menindee Central School

In the secondary section finalists are:

  • Chatswood High School
  • Lurnea High School
  • Beverly Hills Girls High School
  • Armidale High School
  • Hurlstone Agricultural High School
  • Campbelltown Performing Arts High School
  • Gloucester High School
  • Carenne School (Schools for specific purposes)