A group of ten of our outstanding Year 9 students took part in the National Brilliant Business Kids Festival at the University of Sydney yesterday. The festival was a collaborative effort bringing together students from rural regions around the nation through Agrifutures Australia, Startup.Business and Innovateen.
Throughout the day students heard from a range of experts across a fields that would assist in helping them prepare a great pitch for their solution. The day opened with a keynote address from Geoff Lee, the Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, followed by Xavier Ross, Westpac’s Entrepreneur in Residence and Aaron Tait from Education Changemakers.
Following morning tea the Innovateen schools involved (ourselves, Marcellin, Brigidine, St Catherine’s and St Mary’s Cathedral) moved off to work on their presentations and were able to spend time with Brian Dorricot, CSIRO’s Lead Facilitator, who gave some great tips on putting an effective pitch together. Prior to lunch all schools presented their pitch to a panel of experts hoping to be selected to present at the National Pitch Event in the evening.
For the schools connected with Innovateen, the festival was the culmination of four weeks of planning a solution to one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Our students decided that they would form just one team that would work to come up with a solution to Goal 7, Affordable and Clean Energy. The concept built around street paving that generated electricity was amazing and well received by the judges. So much so that we were selected to present our pitch again in the evening.
Prior to finishing the afternoon’s session we heard from Genevieve Radman, a nurse at Emanuel School in Randwick. Genevieve has started her own charity, Gennarosity Abroad, and we were all in awe of what she had achieved through passion, commitment and belief. Her story was inspirational and our students were very keen to explore how we could support her work in the future.
There was much planning done between the end of the afternoon session and the evening’s presentations. The students had selected the four team members who would do the pitch and made some minor adjustments to their presentation.
In the National event the students from the regional areas pitched first. We were all amazed, firstly at the problems they faced and then at the incredible solutions they came up with. Being able to know how many of the water troughs on your property have water in them is a huge issue for farmers, as is being able to transport cattle comfortably in extreme heat.
These were just two problems that the students from South Australia and Manila in north west New South Wales had come up with solutions for. It was a very worthwhile experience for our students to hear the problems that rural communities face. It certainly put into perspective some of the problems we face in our daily lives in Waverley!
The evening pitches from both rural and urban schools were very impressive. There are so many passionate and talented students around our nation who will no doubt ensure we are able to face many of the challenges ahead with great optimism. Unfortunately we were not judged best pitch in the evening session. While the pitch was very polished and demonstrated the team had done their research, the judges felt we could have done a little more in outlining a business case for our idea.
The festival was a fabulous experience for all students and a big thank you to Miss Nicola Steele who ensured the team were ready to showcase an innovative concept.
Here is the evening pitch from our team: