The Young ICT Explorers competition was created to encourage school students to create their best Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related projects.

The competition’s alignment with the school curriculum enables students to apply what they learn in their ICT/Digital Technologies classroom to develop a technology related project of their choice.

This year the NSW judging division took place at the University of NSW on Saturday 5th August, and students had the opportunity to present their projects to a judging panel of academia, industry partners and ICT professionals. Each project is assessed on the criteria of creativity, uniqueness, quality, level of difficulty and project documentation.

We congratulate Thomas Craddock of Year 12, who finished second in the Year 11 and 12 Division with his Bicycle Safety Vest, built to allow bike riders an additional degree of safety and visibility as they negotiate roads and other vehicles. This project represents many weeks of development and prototyping using an Arduino board and wifi to send signals from the riders bike to a vest enabled with LED light blinkers. It uses well considered flex sensors on the bike’s brakes, and photo-resistors to detect darkness to automatically turn on safety lights.

Congratulations also to Year 8 student Thomas Crundwell, who finished third in the Year 7 and 8 Division of the competition with his sophisticated Arduino device and wifi module that sends its operator a wireless message when the milk is low in the fridge. The weight of the milk is calculated using a load-cell and the results are sent to a website, ThingSpeak IoT Solutions, which ultimately sends a text message to the user. Thomas is looking at how this can be developed further so that an entire shopping list can be developed using this system.

Both of these projects represent a significant investment of time to learn new skills in coding, prototypes and troubleshooting solutions for real life problems. “Active learning and entrepreneurship are real priorities in STEM at SCAS” says Head of TAS and teacher Daniel Zavone. “There’s nothing in class that I could teach that’s better than what these two students have completed for their Young ICT Explorers entries.”