A group of Mercedes College students won the two major prizes at the STEM Game Changer Awards with their solution to help the homeless. The competition, which was held at St Mary's on Saturday 26 November, is a pilot program for schools run by Engineers Australia to inspire STEM innovation in WA schools. The four students; Rachael Stevenson, Niamh Wilson (Year 8), An Tran (Year 10) and Anson Mahindra (Year 11) are part of the College's IT Angels, a co-curricular club providing IT support in the school.
Driven by the College's Mercy values of compassion, justice and service, the students alongside other IT Angel club members, tackled the issue of homelessness in the CBD. They applied their problem solving skills to design a managed system that includes crowdfunded mobile phones and an app that runs on those phones to help people experiencing homelessness connect with loved ones and services.
According to Dr Walter Green (2016 WA Engineer of the Year), one of the judges, the students were the clear winners for both categories; the Secondary School Division - the "Overall Winner" and "Best Use of STEM Principles".
"They have set a high benchmark for future competitions", he said.
The students won $2000 worth of prizes including a commercialisation workshop on "Steps to Start-ups" which will assist with the future development of their solution, and a coding workshop for a class of students. Dr Green and Susan Kreemer-Pickford from Engineers Australia presented the students with their awards at the College this afternoon.
Tuesday, 14 March