Around 700 school students participated in “Innovation Challenge” events this week at Banksia Park International High School. Drawing from six surrounding primary schools, 350+ year 6-7 students are working on real world problems in a 2 day growth hack, with 350+ years 8-9s running through a similar work experience like no other earlier in the week.
Startups, small businesses, charity organisations and the Minister for Education have all posed real world problems for students to solve for industry. Problems range from an eco-friendly Christmas and raising funds to support training of guide dogs, to developing new branding, marketing and events for new businesses as well as major brands.
“When considering current and future job roles, it doesn’t matter what industry, job role or country even, an entrepreneurial mindset is the new set of employability skills. Being able to find problems, develop solutions to a Minimum Viable Product, test and validate, improve and gain traction is an important process to learn and apply. Exposing students to a lean startup approach, connecting them with businesses, seeing them reach out and get feedback on their ideas, building confidence and skills is remarkable”, highlights Wendy Perry from Workforce BluePrint, facilitator of the Innovation Challenges.
You might think that students may not be able to come up with solutions for problems that businesses and industry haven’t been able to solve for themselves, but having a fresh look, from a younger perspective is really making a difference with businesses keen to implement the changes and suggestions.
Taking a lead on the Innovation Challenges, Banksia Park International High School is one of South Australia’s entrepreneurial specialist schools, and with staff members working with teams over the year 8-9 challenge, together with primary school students and educators has been eye opening.
Teachers are really proud of what students are achieving, particularly using initiative to check in with clients on their ideas before the final pitches in front of a panel of judges Shark Tank style. “I’m so glad I’ve taken part”, says Steve Davis from Talked About Marketing who posed a problem related to designing a Christmas celebration for his clients.
Whilst Innovation Challenges are being run this week at Banksia Park, Bright Tank 19 culminates in final pitches from 10 teams on Friday at Brighton Secondary School with 85 students participating in a week long Growth Hack.
“What students have been able to develop in a week is amazing. CITB posed a problem related to encouraging more young people into the trades, Elevate Your Look wanted a YouTube and Insta TV channel set up, and the One and All are looking for new ideas for experiences on the tall ship. The quality of the student pitches are remarkable and many of the suggestions will be taken up”, explains Wendy Perry.
For further information please contact Wendy Perry, Managing Director, Workforce BluePrint, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0416 150 491 with Banksia Park International High School final pitches from 1.45 pm:
Bright Tank 19 final pitches are from 1.00 pm at Brighton Secondary School: