Digital Technologies & Innovation

End of Year Workshops at Indooroopilly

The end of the year is generally a time for wrapping up—finalising all the things learnt throughout the year and preparing for the holidays to come…but that’s not the case at St Peters Indooroopilly. On Monday 23 November, our Year 10 Business and Technology students gathered in the Performing Arts Centre’s Theatrette for a ‘Learning to Innovate’ workshop. Organised by Digital Technologies teacher, Mr Peter Hurwood, the workshop acted as an extension of the Ethi‘Cool’ project he’s been running in Year 7 Digital Tech this year—a chance for students to interact directly with industry experts and expand their horizons.

The students, this year, have been learning about entrepreneurship, business start-ups and how ever-evolving digital technologies and innovation can impact it all. Rather than simply completing their assessment and moving on, the workshop gave students a chance to solidify what they knew—to ask questions and get real-world answers. During the workshop, the students learnt how to sell their ideas to potential investors and how to persevere despite most of the subject matter being unknown. They were given the chance to think about their projects really coming to life and to identify all the practical steps they’d need to make to take them to the next level.

Learning from the best

So just how were St Peters Indooroopilly students able to learn from the best during the innovation workshop? Part of the Year 7 Ethi‘Cool’ Project (run in Term 2 and Term 4 this year) involved a ‘Shark-Tank’ style panel of industry experts coming along to listen to student pitches (we recently wrote about that in Plus Ultra). When the panel assembled for the Project in Term 2, Mr Hurwood had a brilliant idea. During their pitches to the panel, he told us, he could really see the students getting a buzz.

“They get to have interesting and intelligent people asking them questions,” he said. “That’s when you can really see the cogs turning—as they apply their knowledge in real time.”

If this was the reaction his Year 7s were having, he thought, imagine the impact a panel of industry professionals could have on students in the higher Year Levels. Mr Hurwood then reached out to the Year 10 Business and Technology teachers and, by the time the second round of Ethi‘Cool’ presentations came around in Term 4, they’d arranged for his panel of industry experts to stay a little longer—to speak to our Year 10 students in between witnessing Year 7 pitches.

Who made up the panel?

Peter Laurie (Entrepreneur in Residence, UQ Business School) captivated our budding innovators as the workshop’s keynote speaker. The panel, which inspired and answered the questions of our Year 10s, included Katrina Lawrence (Regional Sales Director, DELL Technologies), Simon Newcomb (Partner/Technology & Intellectual Property Lawyer, Clayton Utz), Amanda Rablin (eLearning Coordinator, St Peters) and Glen Richards (Chairman, Healthia Ltd and People Infrastructure Ltd; Panel Member, Shark Tank - Australia). It was an incredible line-up and we’re extremely grateful that they gave up their time for our students. Thank you to Mr Peter Hurwood for organising such an impactful session—there'll, no doubt, be some great, innovative businesses on the horizon as a result!

To find out more about the subjects and learning areas available to our St Peters Indooroopilly students, click here for Junior High or here for Senior School