Oyster Bay Public School has won the primary school category of the 2023 Game Changer Challenge.
They snagged first place after they designed an app that aims to protect wildlife, specifically developed for the Royal National Park.
The team competed against 24 schools in the grand final. The competition encourages students to think about ergonomics in a creative way.
Children were challenged to invent or innovate something that would change the world and leave a lasting impact. Oyster Bay's team impressed judges, and despite being one of the youngest teams to compete, the 'Crazy Collaborators' turned heads with their innovative design.
Their app links to a microchip on a domestic pet's collar and an alert on the household fence. If the pet crosses the fence the app notifies the owner and wildlife authorities.
Year 4 pupil Adelyn Gould said the team was passionate about protecting native wildlife.
"We all have pets of our own and sometimes they bring back dead animals, and we wanted to prevent that from happening," she said.
Adobe has offered the Oyster Bay pupils a workshop to continue developing their app, and Amazon has expressed interest in placing the team's product on its shopfront.
NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar gave a special shout out to the teachers who mentored students in design thinking methodology that "broadened students' horizons".
"The Game Changer Challenge showcases some of the best aspects of public education - innovation, creativity and a willingness to learn and adjust ideas," he said.
"Whether it's coding an app to improve ergonomic awareness, sustainable and affordable housing solutions, or innovative ways to tackle bush fires, our students are opening up new possibilities for the future."
Now in its sixth year, a record number of submissions were received in 2023, with almost 400 school teams entering The Game Changer Challenge.
Of these, 120 teams went through to eight virtual semi-finals, with the 24 highest-scoring teams progressing to the three-day grand final at the Department of Education's Parramatta office.
On the last day of competition, teams presented their solutions and prototypes at the Game Changer Challenge Ideas Expo, where judges and industry partners spent time walking around the expo area, interacting with students, learning about their ideas and sharing feedback.
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