Coronavirus Challenge Finals

August 21, 2020

Written by: Ashley Van Krieken

On Monday 17 August, I was excited to attend the celebration event for the Telstra and YCA Coronavirus Youth Design Challenge.  This event represented the culmination of more than a terms worth of work from student teams across the Bendigo Tech School, Monash Tech School, KIOSC at Swinburne and Yarra Ranges Tech School.  These teams had been working on their App based ideas to help people cope with the impact of isolation and COVID-19 restrictions.

Yarra Ranges Tech School was represented by two teams for this event – The Calm in COVID app from Upper Yarra Secondary College and Study Sync from Healesville Secondary College.  After wonderful presentations from the Telstra Graduates, who had mentored the teams, each of the 13 teams presented their idea and received feedback from a judging panel. The panel comprised of Margaret O’Brien, CEO Young Change Agents, Sarah Hayton, Manager Tech Schools Branch Department of Education and Training, Daizy Mann, Program Manager Deakin SPARK, and Brett James, Director IT services, Department of Education and Training.

We were super excited for the Study Sync app and its creator Rhiannon after she received equal 3rd in the event.  As a result she will receive $400 of Telstra vouchers and an additional 1 hour of mentoring from Telstra.  The Calm in Covid app received $100 of Telstra vouchers and a 1 hour mentoring session to help take their idea to fruition.  We are extremely proud of both teams and look forward to working with them in the coming months to progress their ideas further.  Rhiannon will also present later in the year at the Telstra Vantage conference.

Both Zoe Green and I enjoyed working and mentoring with these students, introducing them to the process of Design Thinking and its application to solving real-world challenges.

Head to the YCA website to check out all the amazing finalists in the Coronavirus Challenge