Global Innovators Challenge Overview

USC’s Young Scholars Project has developed a ‘Global Innovators Challenge’ module which aims to:

  • Encourage students to develop skills in the process of inquiry, literature research, experimental investigation and critical thinking
  • Inspire and challenge students to extend their learning in science
  • Facilitate collaborative learning
  • Promote a critical and action-based approach to problem solving and design thinking
  • Encourage a global citizenship approach with students, considering vital questions about global challenges
  • Provide opportunities to gain advice and tips from ‘real’ experts in the field
  • Promote collaboration between USC and local secondary schools

The module builds upon one or more concepts within the Australian Science Curriculum. Modules are not designed to replace content in the learning sequence of an Australian Curriculum unit. They are extension resources that students engage with alongside the learning sequence and assessment tasks of an existing unit.

Project Approach

The challenge is embedded in an Immersive Day held at the USC campus where students engage and interact with USC academics and students. The concept of the Global Innovators Challenge was developed by Engineers without Borders, and has been adapted from a University level project to a suit a more generic audience such as a Year 9 Science class.

In the first part of the day, students take part in a series of STEM-based hands-on activities which relate directly to the issues faced by people in the developing community of Bambui, Cameroon. The day culminates in a strategic planning session where students take on the roles of various STEM professionals, charged with the responsibility of coming up with solutions to Bambui’s issues using STEM.

The challenge activities contribute towards the development of skills in problem solving, the application of basic science, health and engineering fundamentals, and communication. The challenge uses science and technology to address global issues such as energy, water and food.  It gives students a real insight into how science and technology can be used to tackle challenges faced by communities in the developing world, and how they can be part of the solution.

How the Immersive Day will run

9:15am Arrive at USC
9:30-9:45am Welcome in EG.18
9:50-10:20am First rotation
10:25-10:55am Second rotation
10:55-11:10am Morning tea @ Student Commons area
11:10-11:40am Third rotation
11:45-12:15pm Fourth rotation
12:15-12:35pm Lunch @ Student Commons area
12:40-2:00pm Afternoon Brainstorming/Pitch competition EG:18
2pm Depart USC

Rotation activities

Science: The spread of infectious disease

Through a fun game and interactive demonstration, you will get a sense of how vulnerable developing communities are to the rapid spread of infectious diseases, often due to unrefined sanitation and hygiene practices and infrastructure. How does disease spread so easily? How easy is it to prevent this?

Technology: VR and AR solutions for the real world

Virtual and augmented reality technologies play a vital role in arming developing communities with valuable information and skills.  You will visit USC’s Engage Lab and explore how these affordable technologies can make a difference to the lives of people in developing nations.

Engineering: Fly through Bambui in the Cave

Visit our host community, Bambui, through the 3D simulation fly-through in USC’s Cave. You will feel as though you are riding on a magic carpet, flying above and around the village, zooming in and out of locations to observe at both macro and micro levels. The ultimate in Engineering simulation technology.

Maths (and Economics): From poverty to prosperity

Have you ever wondered how people in developing nations manage to break the cycle of poverty? In this activity, you will get the lowdown on microfinance, and learn how this process can change lives by bridging the gap from poverty to prosperity.

Afternoon activity

We will meet up after lunch in EG.18, where you will work in small groups to devise real-world solutions to complex issues in Bambui.

You will be supplied with a brief on your specific location, along with some stimulus material to the get the ball rolling on your brainstorm. After 30 minutes of brainstorming and planning, you may be called upon to deliver your ideas to the rest of the group. Presenters will be chosen through drawing group numbers out of a hat. The presentation will be a maximum of three minutes, using only words and hand-drawn pictures/diagrams to support your ideas.