Three tech-savvy Year 8 students from Good Shepherd Lutheran College were presented with a National award recently for the app they designed focusing on sustainability and waste reduction.
The students, known collectively as the Galaxy Girls, were a part of the nation-wide 2018 Tech Girl Superhero competition, receiving the Australian United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Award for 2018 for their app known as R3.
A part of Good Shepherd’s Tech Girl initiative, the students wanted to drive community change in the area of managing and reducing waste using their passion for technology.
“Our R³ app is unique in the way that it uses a competition to inspire students to recycle,” said Isabelle from Galaxy Girls.
“After researching the app market, we have found that our app is original and very different to other apps in the same area.”
After conducting a local online survey, the students discovered some key trends in the Noosa community and this, combined with additional research, assisted them in tailoring their app design to accommodate their potential consumers.
“We came across some research by a group of regional Victorian councils which found that only 29% of householders had ever looked at a council website for information about recycling,” said Jemima Harman from Galaxy Girls.
“It was found that most people got their information from schools, local newspapers and bin stickers.”
“This means that we really need to help schools in raising awareness of important issues like recycling if we want things to change.”
Other key components, including finance and budgets as well as seeking potential sponsors for their app prizes, needed careful consideration by the students should they consider taking their business to the next level.
As a part of the Tech Girls Are Superheros initiative, the girls were also teamed up with a mentor from the tech industry.
“Our mentor was Alexis Dallas, a UX designer from Melbourne,” said Galaxy Girl Millie.
“Ms Dallas would meet with us virtually via video conference during lunch hours to discuss design ideas, concepts and provide general support us throughout the process.”
“It was amazing to have so many people helping us; from our three coaches at school, to the chats with Ms Dallas and even spending time at GWI, an IT specialist in Brisbane’s CBD.”
“At GWI we had a day of just sitting down with our mentors and other tech women to brainstorm ideas, learn about different design software and work on our R³ app.”
Good Shepherd Tech Girl coach, Nicola Cumner, summed up the girls’ experience, “We are very proud of what our Tech Girls have achieved and experienced this year.”
“To have their ideas and work acknowledged at a national level is very rewarding, however, the main aim is to ignite a passion to change the world for the better.”
“When our students have the ability to work collaboratively, to solve problems using technology, the possibilities are truly limitless.”