Teen Start-Up gets creative with everyday science

Simply studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is only half the story. While STEM encourages innovation; entrepreneurship is what delivers it to the world. During the September school holidays, Teen Start-Up introduced a new interactive program, ‘The Science of Everyday’ that explored how the Natural, Formal and Social Sciences can be applied to everyday life in innovative and creative ways.

Held in collaboration with the School of Business at UNSW Canberra, twenty-nine 11 to 16-year old students, including some who travelled from Sydney, Brisbane and the South Coast, took part in the 2-day program. Working in teams to complete a range of challenges, they presented their ideas and earned points as part of the competition.

Students met researchers, scientists and local entrepreneurs using science to innovate, learning firsthand from biophysicists, environmental scientists, engineers, psychologists and architects. Some of the challenges included designing a game to help patients who had suffered a stroke; developing their own classification system for a citizen science project; designing a sustainable house for the Canberra climate; and building a model of a city powered by renewable resources. The teams were set six challenges inspired by their guest speakers, and competed in quiz rounds to earn points.

Lighthouse, the organisers of the program, launched Teen Start-Up in 2014 to give school-age students the opportunity to learn and develop skills that will help them to live and work successfully in the 21st century.

“Not every child will become an entrepreneur, but we can inspire every young person to have an entrepreneurial mindset – to think creatively and critically; to collaborate and communicate effectively; to focus, commit and have the grit to persevere when things get tough,” said Lighthouse CEO, Anna Pino.

“With plenty of hands-on activities and guest speakers, Teen Start-Up introduces students to skills like creativity, problem solving and teamwork in a fun and interactive way.”

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