Subs in Schools success

Asset Publisher

09 May 2024

Reward and recognition

Students from a Fremantle school have taken out a national prize for their submarine design.

John Curtin College of the Arts travelled to Adelaide for the Subs in Schools competition where they were crowned Australia’s champions.

John Curtin College of the Arts students were crowned national champions in Subs in Schools. 

The team took out the Best 3D Virtual Model Award for their innovative design, and also won the Best Newcomer Award.

The Subs in Schools STEM program challenges students to design and build underwater vehicles operational submarines and Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles (ROV).

It teaches students about maritime engineering and hydrodynamics using coding and electronics, as well as skills such as teamwork, research, and communication.

The students’ winning design focused on making a small space comfortable, versatile, and practical.

John Curtin College of the Arts student Alfie Curran-Ragan said the team was open-minded, dedicated, and hard-working.

“We had to design and run a business dealing with funding issues, design challenges, and marketing – all based on a brief given by the defence,” he said.

“Our team had to design a 3D model of the living quarters for sailors on the latest class of nuclear submarine with the main challenge coming from having to stick to a tight design brief and reduced timeframe.

“After talking to countless submariners, we wanted to focus on versatility and comfort for those living in it. We decided the best way to do this was to take inspiration from small private jet and portable home manufacturers taking note on how they used minimal space effectively.”

Fellow student Lachie Wynne, who has goals to work in the Navy, encouraged other students to take part in STEM projects such as Subs in Schools.

“It was such an amazing experience to have all the staff supporting us and really allowed us to learn lots in the process. I certainly know that it was beneficial to me and so if you have an interest in STEM you should definitely go for it,” he said.

“It was an immense achievement and we felt really proud of our product. It was such an amazing experience and really shaped my future plans and showed me a series of skills I didn't know I needed.”