Top student inventors revealed in SAP’s Young ICT Explorers contest

Pete Andrew, Head of Industries for ANZ at SAP

Australia’s most innovative student inventors have been revealed, with the winners of SAP SE’s Young ICT Explorers competition announced. Young ICT Explorers is Australia’s largest innovation and tech initiative for primary and high school students, with over 10,000 students from over 900 schools taking part in the nationwide competition the last 13 years.

With the support of CSIRO Digital Careers, The Smith Family, Kinetic IT and School Bytes, Young ICT Explorers encourages primary and high school students from years three to 12 to create tech projects that solve a real-world problem or showcase a passion through tech.

What is the Young ICT Explorers competition?

Working independently or in teams of up to four, 929 students from 75 schools submitted 358 unique technology-based projects that are designed to solve real-world problems – from creating a better way to recycle; and emergency and crisis preparedness. 29 finalist teams across five age groups pitched their projects virtually to industry judging panels, with the winners and runners up then crowned at a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday.

Young ICT Explorers is designed to prepare more young Australians for the digital careers of the future, by enabling the schools and teachers with resources and the knowledge base to create technology projects that enhance technology education at an early age.

Over the past 5 years, the competition has averaged a 45 per cent female participation rate, encouraging thousands of primary and senior schoolgirls to innovate with technology and pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields across Australia.

SAP has an existing partnership with The Smith Family to help narrow the digital divide through SAP’s Young ICT Explorers Accelerator Program. The initiative is designed to provide schools and teachers in low socio-economic communities with the resources needed to prepare more young Aussies for the digital careers of the future. 27% of participants in the Young ICT Explorers competition, this year, came from The Smith Family partner schools.

Why is the competition integral to ICT sector?

Pete Andrew, Head of Industries, SAP Australia and New Zealand and YICTE Executive Sponsor, said: “The creativity and enthusiasm shown by these students, and their appetite to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges head on, is really inspirational. At SAP we’re passionate about helping young people from diverse backgrounds get excited about tech, and I’ve been impressed by the calibre of entries and the array of tech skills on display.”

“A huge congratulations to the winners, and to each entrant. I’m confident that among these students we’ve identified some of the STEM leaders of the future, watch this space!”

The Smith Family Chief Executive Officer, Doug Taylor, said: “It’s incredibly important that students experiencing disadvantage aren’t left behind when it comes to opportunities in STEM. The investment from SAP gives students a better understanding of technology and the chance to strengthen vital digital skills, setting them up to pursue careers in these fields.”

Doug Taylor, Chief Executive Officer at The Smith Family

“This will not only have a fantastic impact on their futures, but the future of the Australian economy. A huge well done to all the students who participated in the Young ICT Explorers competition and congratulations to the winners,” Doug Taylor further commented.

Who were the winners of SAP’s Young ICT Explorers?

Year 3-4 category

Project: Ashfield’s Safe Road Crossing

Participants: Aiden Noel, Jacob Dalton, Noah Young, and Elizabeth Colquhoun

School: Ashfield Primary School, WA;

  • A prototype of a realistic crossroad section designed to improve the safety of children walking to school with the incorporation of flashing lights to catch the attention of students and oncoming cars, an ultrasonic sensor to measure the distance between the car and boom gates, boom gates to guide the children to safely cross the road, and LED signs to signal to cars to be prepared to stop for children to cross the road.

Year 5-6 category

Project: Medibot 3.0

Participant: Sol Crisp

School: St Andrew’s Cathedral School, NSW

  • A pill reminder system based on voice recognition technology and originally entered into the competition back in 2020. This year, the updated Medibot 3.0 will had a redesigned user interface, as well as an ability to record and track pill usage and allow multiple pill reminders per day/week.

Year 7-8 category

Project: Bee Monitoring System

Participants: Vinuka Gamage, Ashmit Pharande, Evan Jin, and Swarit Dwivedi

School: Haileybury, VIC

  • A beehive monitoring system creating using AI to determine the root cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The system combines a station that monitors weather conditions (i.e. rainfall, wind direction, speed and air pressure), and a camera with intelligent AI that can spot parasites on the bees to alert the beehive manager of any issues.

Year 9-10 category

Project: Pocket Sax

Participant: Jesaiah Creek

School: St George Christian School, NSW

  • An app that allows people to discover, learn, practice, and enjoy playing the Saxophone without the need for an instrument, coded through Swift. The app features a 3D printed mouthpiece, insightful practice statistics, metronome with vibration and silent practice.

Year 11-12 category

Project: JEngine

Participant: Jason Xu

School: Burgmann Anglican School, ACT

  • JEngine is an out-of-the-box framework designed for Unity developers. Beginners can use JEngine to create high-performance games quickly and easily. This project now has been used by 100+ enterprises and 1000+ individual game developers.