Phoenix College & FED College
VCAL STUDENTS TACKLE
Teams opted to work on a range of civic challenges including mental well-being, stewardship of the environment, healthy relationships and young people as local influencers.
The CIC team conducted another half day workshops at the prototype stage and provided in person coaching to each team as they advanced their idea in preparation for the pitch event. In between CIC led sessions, the teachers used the CIC curriculum and online resources to support teams through the process.
Teachers from BTS and participating schools were led through a professional development workshop to build their understanding of the CIC Social Innovation Process and the role they would play in supporting students.
The students came together for a one day CICstarter and quickly built confidence that they would be able to develop exciting and important ideas. Students worked in teams and followed the CIC Social Innovation Process over a five week period.
In collaboration with Ballarat Tech School (BTS), CIC guided fifty VCAL students from Phoenix College and Fed College through a social innovation program. BTS is a centre of STEM excellence that engages students from partner schools in a high-tech learning environment. One of ten Tech Schools in Victoria, BTS is a link between schools and industry and challenges students to solve real-world problems and prepare them for the future world of work.
BTS has a rich program of activity and applies design methodologies in their curriculum. Many of these programs focus on product development and CIC was brought on board because of our ability to support young people to innovate around social issues and services.
Ten teams pitched to local community leaders and demonstrated their brilliance at generating inspired ideas for tackling some of the region's pressing social challenges. Here’s a sample of the ideas: Young people as influencers: Young people are the future, and so why not give them the tools to embrace it and lead with confidence? This team have come up with a fun, game-play based app that provides daily challenges to encourage people to step out of their comfort zone and learn new leadership and personal skills. By completing challenges in the game players unlock real life challenges that they are expected to complete before moving on in the game; “Today’s challenge is to make someone laugh!”
Feeling funny: These students want to build the capacity of family and friends to support a loved one when they first show signs that they are experiencing challenges with their mental well-being. The team intends to partner with a service provider to stage a series of events that combine education with a light touch and humour so that people are better able to engage with what often feels like a heavy topic.
Stress Free Homework: Homework is a significant cause of anxiety and stress. This team is producing a kit to help grade six students learn good healthy homework habits so that when they hit secondary school, they will manage the transition to more homework with ease.
Trash Dash: A toolkit and app, targeted at young children, that makes it fun and interesting to learn about recycling and what items can be placed in which bins. By putting waste in the right bin, Australians can reduce pollution and landfill whilst protecting local animals and habitats.
Teachers reported that engagement levels remained strong throughout the process and that many teams organised sessions outside class time to advance their work. Each of the schools believes the CIC program has modelled new ways that they can design learning experiences that challenge students to create solutions that have the potential to be implemented in community.