De La Salle Senior College Cronulla students short-listed for Shape 2018 at Powerhouse Museum

Exhibition opportunity: De La Salle College Cronulla students with their teacher, Sara Gamsaragan, (front row, third from left). Picture: John Veage
Exhibition opportunity: De La Salle College Cronulla students with their teacher, Sara Gamsaragan, (front row, third from left). Picture: John Veage

Colourful, thought-provoking projects have bloomed to life at De La Salle Senior College Cronulla.

A total of 15 students from the high school have been nominated for Shape – Powerhouse Museum’s exhibition of the state's best HSC design works. 

The exhibition features a selection of exemplary major projects from HSC design and technology, industrial technology and textiles and design students from the 2018 examinations.

De La Salle students have been short-listed. Final exhibitors will be determined by the museum’s curators.

Design and Technology is one of the school’s strongest performing HSC electives. 

“It’s really popular because we tend to get good results,” teacher and former student of the college, Sara Gamsaragan, 28, said.

“We had three classes close to 60 students this year, which was pretty huge. I’m pretty sure we had the most students who did the subject in one cohort in the state.

“And to be nominated, clearly that means also one of the best.”

This year, 3344 NSW HSC students were enrolled in the subject. While more males (56 per cent) took interest in the elective than females (44 per cent), that trend is the opposite at the Cronulla college.

Interpretive dance, film documentaries and fashion were some of the projects that encompassed disability, and friendship inclusion, climate change, plastic waste elimination, and coral bleaching.

Also causes to action took the form of promoting awareness of endangered species, Indigenous culture and religious tolerance.

A large textiles gown made from tissue paper with seeds tucked into its bodice, made by student Sierra Blattman, told the story of bee pollination.

“The projects required such a level of research depth,” Ms Gamsaragan said. “They had to do an 80-page portfolio, and show passion for an issue or activity they were producing.

“They’ve had a real team approach. This generation doesn’t watch TV so it’s been my role to encourage them to share with each other about what issues are happening in Australia and around the world.

“One student designed an app for the food industry, to educate restaurant owners about anaphylaxis. 

“One of the two boys in my class did a comic book project that told the personal journey of mental health, and the other, designed an app for the aged care industry.

“It’s been less about what they’ve made and more about the issue or reason behind it, or the problems they were trying to solve.”

“Often it happens that these students also realise it’s possible to make a career from projects like this.

“Our past students have donated their projects. One student who made a wristband was taken up by jewellery Samantha Wills.

“It shows that they can have real life applications outside of the classroom, and turn ideas into products.”

Shape 2018 opens at the Powerhouse Museum on February 22.