2021 Telstra Innovation Awards winners

STUDENTS from the Glasshouse Christian College took out the top gong at the Sunshine Coast Telstra Innovation Awards on July 23 as well as the Emerging Entrepreneur Award.
Ten Sunshine Coast high schools entered the competition. The winning project was LEDPlates, which has the potential to give learner drivers a bright new way to display their L plates, along with a compatible phone app to change the plates as needed from Ls to Ps.

The winning team, comprising students Arno Mens, Charlie Bidgood and Josiah from Glasshouse Christian College, led by school coordinator Tanya Cullen, were thrilled with the result.
The Emerging Entrepreneur Award also went to a Glasshouse Christian College student – Ebony Quinlan for Heart Attrack, a wearable ECG monitor for cardiovascular outpatients.
These outstanding students, along with the second and third place winners from Sunshine Coast Christian College and St Andrew’s Anglican College, will share in $10,000 worth of technology prizes for their schools including tablets, headphones, mentoring sessions and a 3D printer.

Arno Mens, from the LEDPlates project, said there was an emphasis on learning about the target market for the product.
“Going from there really taught us how to structure our pitch for the awards event and how to move forward in the future for when we go to market,” Arno said.
Students from years 9, 10, 11 and 12 on the Sunshine Coast created applications or inventions for the Sunshine Coast Telstra Innovation Awards.

As part of the program, the students were mentored by some of the sharpest technology minds and entrepreneurs in the region to help the students develop and refine their ideas.
The competition, which is delivered by Sunshine Coast Council in partnership with Telstra, brings creative ideas to life while connecting students with industry mentors to develop their entrepreneurial thinking.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, who has been a champion of these awards since their inception and was part of the judging panel, said all entrants in the awards program were outstanding.
“Their innovative ideas reflected the great talent and innovation that we are nurturing here on our Sunshine Coast, particularly with our children and young people,” Mr Jamieson said.
“The awards program supports the development of ideas that use technology in a novel way to solve a community, environmental or business challenge.
“These skills have never been more important in the digital age.
“The young people involved in this competition demonstrate that we are well and truly on the right track in encouraging opportunities for our young people to succeed in the 21st century,” the Mayor said.

Photo: Mayor Mark Jamieson with Glasshouse Christian College students Josiah, Charlie and Arno

Ebony doing her pitch on the night