SAP’s flagship innovation program for young people, the Young ICT Explorers competition, will expand to six states and territories in 2015.
In partnership with Digital Careers, events will be held across New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia.
The expansion comes in direct response to strong demand, with 520 students entering 234 projects in the 2014 competition. Now in its sixth year, Young ICT Explorers aims to encourage Australian youth to create and innovate with ICT while promoting greater understanding of the real-life applications of technology and the career paths it enables.
Greg Miller, vice president and general manager for global partner operations at SAP Australia and New Zealand, said these types of programs are essential in bridging the ICT skills gap in Australia.
“The Australian Industry Group recently released research showing that a lack of skills in areas such as science, technology and engineering in the current and emerging workforce is holding back Australia’s economy,” he said. “This is not just an ICT issue; it’s an issue all industries, as well as government, education and the not-for-profit sector need to address together.”
Intel Australia will support this year’s competition, donating 200 Intel Galileo Gen 2 development board for eligible students submitting Arduino-based entries or those building ‘Internet of Things’ projects.
One of the competition’s previous winners, Viney Kumar from Knox Grammar, said Young ICT Explorers sparked his inspiration for inventing, and he has since designed a new mobile app.
“I really loved the YICTE program, as it allowed me to develop my passion for science and technology but also real world work experience. Through YICTE I secured an internship with SAP, where I worked on a large database project,” said Viney.
“The YICTE program jumpstarted my interest in these subjects and led me to develop a transport app for emergency services that won a prize at the Google Science Fair. I also had the opportunity to visit National ICT Australia (NICTA), and there’s the possibility that my transportation app may become a commercial reality, which is really exciting.”
The SAP Young ICT Explorers competition runs in partnership with leading universities including University of Queensland, University of New South Wales, Monash University, The University of Tasmania, Edith Cowan University, James Cook University and the Australian National University, with projects to be judged by industry professionals and academics on their creativity, uniqueness, quality, level or difficulty and project documentation.
Registrations are now open and available online at www.youngictexplorers.net.au for teachers and parents to register students from years 3 to 12 for venues across the country.
Photo: Young ICT Explorers