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CHAC News

Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and IT

Year 7 Challenge Program

In the final week of Term 1, the Enterprise Centre was well and truly christened when the entire Year 7 cohort undertook The CHAC Challenge, a special three-day program aimed at helping our youngest Secondary students develop the 21st Century skills of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. The innovative program exposed Year 7 to a range of skills and knowledge important for success now and in the future. Students participated in activities aimed at improving personal self-awareness and collaborative teamwork skills, as well as their capacity for creative idea generation through the design process. They were finally required to produce promotional materials to help sell their concept and communicate persuasively to an audience of teachers, parents and peers. The event culminated in a Tradeshow where teams marketed their ideas for a CHAC Wetlands Festival mascot.

The CHAC Challenge was only possible due to a cross-disciplinary collaboration of staff within the College, with presentations from teaching staff across the Business, ITD, English, Art, Science and Humanities Faculties, as well as staff supervision from every Faculty over the three days. A very big vote of thanks is due to all involved for their help at what was a very busy time of term. Special appreciation is due to those staff who presented sessions in the program: Mrs Cummins, Mr Bates and Ms Baker (Marketing and Promotion); Mr Hawkin and Mr Schutz (Design and Packaging); Mrs Walker and Ms Baiada (Wetlands ecology); Ms Chaplin (Art/Creativity).

Year 7 students exceeded all expectations in terms of the level of their engagement, enthusiasm and creativity, and also impressed with their capacity for hard work. Feedback received has been overwhelmingly positive, and wide-ranging comments from the students attest to their enjoyment of the experience:

"I enjoyed it because we worked together and I enjoy working as a team. Making a project like this is excellent in terms of collaborative skills. I learned in this project that you can’t do stuff on your own sometimes because five people is so much easier than one person." (Henry Persal)

“I found the marketing activities interesting and helpful, as I learnt how to promote an object in ways I hadn’t thought were possible!” (Madison Webster)

 “I enjoyed thinking of a solution to a problem that did not have a set answer, and using our imagination to find creative ideas.” (Anon)

“Dancing as the mascot was fun because it was energetic and I got free high-fives!” (Josh Wold)

“I contributed my art and design skills and my creativity…It is a brilliant team-building activity that I recommend to all!” (Lily Hawkin)

“I enjoyed the personality test as I got to learn more about myself and the others in my team. It also enabled me to work better in a team.” (Anon)

“I enjoyed learning about the design features of a product and…how to use different design techniques like colours and texture.” (Millie Bishop)

“My favourite part of day one of the Challenge was learning how to promote a business. This really helped with the Trade Show.” (Ben Mazjnak)

“I enjoyed meeting new people and working in a team the most. I enjoyed this as I had a good team and we worked well together while having fun. My team also supported each other well.” (Anon)

“It was SO MUCH FUUUUUNNNNNNNNNN!” (Luka Routledge)

“I learnt that working in groups really helps you make new friends and learn things about people that you might not already know. Each of us had different talents which helped us because we assigned people to certain jobs to make sure the project was done to the best of our abilities.” (Aurelia Marsh)

“I enjoyed pitching to other groups, adults, teachers and judges about our product, because I got to try and convince them that our product was the best.” (Luke Sivyer)

 “I enjoyed learning about all the kinds of intelligences on Day 1 of the Challenge. It helped me to realise that everyone can be intelligent, but in different ways.”
(Sianna Owen)

 “I would recommend that CHAC run this again next year for Year 7 because it will push them to their limits, making them think outside the box. It will also make them more creative and improve their collaboration skills.” (Kael Hourn)

UQ Entrepreneurship Program

Applications close at the end of this week for entry to the UQ Entrepreneurship Program, an exciting initiative offered by the University of Queensland’s IdeaHub and Business Faculty, focused on developing the entrepreneurship skills of our students. The free program, comprising four content modules, will be presented on Thursday afternoons (2.30pm to 4.30pm) over Weeks 3 to 6 of this term. The modules will be delivered by UQ MBA program academic and UQ IdeasHub Relationship Manager, Ms Cayetana Martinez.

Applicants from Years 9 to 12 will be advised over the coming week of the application outcomes.

IT: Girls in Tech Launch

This week, Tech Girls begins in earnest at CHAC, with teams meeting on Thursday afternoon to begin brainstorming on their project for the competition. Tech Girls is a program aimed at giving girls access to technology and programs to build their skills and confidence in this domain, and we are delighted to see our students involved. The program is running in Primary and Secondary, and operates by involving real-life female role models – women working in STEM – as mentors.

Tech Girls has as its visionary aim the engagement of 10,000 girls in STEM Entrepreneurship by 2020. CHAC hopes to add our numbers to this target by involving our girls in the Tech Girls’ Movement’s annual online Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero Competition, to help solve important community problems with technology skills and business acumen. 

Again, our thanks go to Ms Amanda Rodgers, CEO of WK Digital and Tech Girls Movement Board Member, who has reached out to the College as a valuable mentor for our girls to help launch our involvement. We also thank Ms Sara Grigg, our in-house IT expert, for her ongoing commitment to providing opportunities for CHAC students in this crucial, future-focused domain, and Ms Penny Cummins for her support of this initiative.

Barbara Mossman
Coordinator: Gifted and Enterprise Education