Young minds providing innovative solutions

Asset Publisher

23 December 2023

Events and initiatives Reward and recognition

An app developed by a team of Year 8 students from Bob Hawke College took out the Minister’s Innovation Challenge 2023.

The app shows the live and predicted status of the car park at The Matthew's Netball Centre car park in Jolimont at any given time. It also provides the option to host or share carpool with a teammate or friends. 

Bob Hawke College students with teacher Sheila Halai.

Thirty teams of Year 8 students from WA public schools participated in the 2023 edition of the challenge, tasked with developing innovative solutions to local issues or problems. The challenge aims to prepare students to lead and innovate in our forever changing world.

The winning team, that claimed $5,000 in prize money, reached out to the Town of Cambridge, who owns the car park, and are now collaborating to develop the AI aspect of their app.

Sheila Halai, the college’s digital technologies teacher, facilitated the innovation challenge. She said she is immensely proud of the team.

“They collaborated effortlessly and through in-depth research and conversations, they came up with a smart solution,” she said.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for the students to work on a real-life problem that not only affects them individually but also the wider community. 

“It goes to show the positive impact our young generation can have on the world around them.”

Denmark Senior High School placed second and claimed $3,000. The team designed an interactive art installation that aims to reduce the amount of plastic entering the ocean at Denmark beaches. The team has met with the CEO of the Shire of Denmark, David King, to talk about bringing their idea to life.

Exmouth District High School finished third and picked up $2,000. That team created a fully immersive VR app that allows visitors to the region to experience the life, play and struggle of a native animal of their choice. The app educates visitors on sanctuary zones, beach regulations, legal camp sites, and waste recycle zones.

Learn more about the Minister's Innovation Challenge.