Today I was once again a judge in The Young ICT Explorers Competition and all I can say is WOW. I was one of six judges in the years 7&8 division, we had the impossible task of trying to pick three winners from an amazing field of 18 entries. The standard of this year’s competitors was so much higher than last years that our task was ridiculous.
My team of three were totally blown away by the student’s knowledge, understanding and the sophistication of their presentations. To try and give a sense of the standard I am going to try and describe a few of the projects we saw. There were two fully functioning apps both created by students in their spare time using Apple Xcode, which had graphics built in Adobe Photoshop, one of which was already on its way to be being used by a division of Westfarmers. A 3D maze game, totally programmed in native code, with characters built in Adobe After Effects and then imported into studio quality 3D motion software. And a rubbish bin programmed to display a message when filled with rubbish, created using sophisticated electronics more suitable to a university project.
I came away feeling both elated and scared. Scared because I wonder, if 14 year old students are creating projects like this in their spare time, just what are teachers doing to keep them motivated in the classroom? And yet elated as one day we can hope that some of our world’s problems will be solved by bright minds like these.
Once again The Young ICT Explorers Competition delivered much. Yes there were prizes for a few lucky entrants. But listening to the students sell their projects to us I knew that for all of them, the day was an amazing validation of all their effort and hard work.
Thank you SAP and The Young ICT Explorers team, see you next year!