Year 6 students participate in enterprising programs

Students put their innovative thinking skills to the test in two programs.

On Wednesday this week, Year 6 students had the opportunity to participate in one of two programs: The Academy for Enterprising Girls or The Day of AI for boys.

The Academy for Enterprising Girls is an innovative entrepreneurship program delivered by the organisation Young Change Agents and supported by the Australian Government. The program seeks to inspire and educate the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and job makers and is designed to cultivate young women’s skills in design thinking, technology and business. It is a one day Design Thinking program for female-identifying youths to think creatively and critically, further developing their entrepreneurial mindsets, skillsets and success tools.  This culminated in each group identifying an issue within their chosen community, finding a solution that met the definition of a social enterprise and developing a short pitch (including branding items and prototypes) to present at the end of the day. Examples of social enterprises the students came up with were:

—Elite Fashion, producing and selling eco-friendly (reusing pre-used fabrics) activewear that consumers then can vote for which local charities the profits are donated,
—Equipment, reselling used sports equipment with profits going to pay the registration costs for underprivileged children to various codes of sport,
—Eco Auto, selling special filters to reduce the pollutants of petrol-driven cars, with the profits going to local tree planting and animal charities,
—Dog Lovers, selling sustainable dog products with the profits going to help rescue dogs from the pounds,
—Crafty Kids, providing creative courses for kids on the weekends and during the holidays, with profits going to the Ardoch: Australian Children’s Education Charity.

The Day of AI has been developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), i2Learning, CS in Schools and UNSW to introduce students to the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in a world that AI will power. The Day of AI is designed to spark students’ curiosity about AI and computer science and to encourage them to develop the skills that will be critical in the future. Topics cover everything from the basics of what AI is to design and creation exercises using AI and understanding the benefits and potential risks. This culminated in the students coming up with ways that AI can be used to improve the School, which they presented through a video explaining their ideas and meeting several success criteria. Examples of ideas that the students came up with were:

—a robot that acts as a second teacher moving around the classroom answering questions,
—a robot classroom organiser that is triggered at 3.15pm to clean and organise the classroom,
—a handwriting reader to help teachers read student’s work,
—a camera that tells you which recycling bin to put your waste in,
—a robot that greets you at the front gate and gets you organised for the day with reminders,
—a drone that detects unsafe or unkind behaviour in the playground and gives reminders of the IGS Way.

The students’ level of engagement and collaboration within the two separate cross-curriculum programs was outstanding, and the end products produced by them show the incredible innovative thinking they are capable of.