Designing the future at St Finbar’s

Students at St Finbar’s Sans Souci and St Mary’s Erskineville have been using their technical skills to create Vivid experiences just for kids.

The children have been creating and building installations inspired by Sydney’s Vivid festival, and presented their projects on Friday, August 18, at the MAAS Powerhouse Museum Young Creators Conference.

The project is part of the schools’ Newman Selective Gifted Education Program, and involves 24 bright students from years 5 and 6.

Their installations make use of lights, sounds, music and interactivity, and are designed especially to be enjoyed by other children.

Teachers Zeina Chalich and Kaitlyn Ringwood planned the program, which aimed to encourage children to become creators of technology, rather than just consumers.

“Students have created interactive projects ranging from automated recycling cactus bins, to sensor-operated robotics in the shape and form of animals,” said Ms Chalich.

“There are so many diverse projects that have evolved.”

The children spent a day at each school working together on their projects, and had access to the latest technology.

Teachers encouraged students to use the design thinking methodology in creating and planning their projects, and students used their sophisticated coding skills – as well as practical tools like Makey Makeys, Arduinos, Raspberry Pis and Hummingbird Robotics Kits – to bring their designs to life.

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