Supporting the next generation of STEM workers 

Last weekend I had the pleasure of joining the judges for the 2015 Young ICT Explorers Brisbane event. A non-profit competition created by SAP, Young ICT Explorers encourages school students to create their best Information and Communication Technology related projects and compete at a city level to win prizes that help provide project funding to continue development.

This year saw the largest cohort of competitors with almost 300 students from 29 schools descending on the University of Queensland St Lucia campus to present more than 110 projects.

To participate in the Young ICT Explorers competition students had to create an ICT related project, build a presentation stand and present a pitch to judges. Working through this activity gives students “real world” ICT project experience and helps to prepare them for a future career in the industry. It was a big morning for them, and all of the presentations were carefully constructed and delivered.

Along with Maree Adshead, CEO of the Open Data Institute Queensland, I was very excited by the calibre of ideas, passion and talent in Brisbane. Working in an industry where there is a skills shortage, it was encouraging to see such a strong group of students coming through and the fantastic support that they receive from schools, mentors and their peers.

It was a wonderfully worthwhile judging experience. And I’m already looking forward to doing it all again next year.

Photo: YICTE Brisbane website

Julie Kilner

Consulting Manager