YSSC Year 9 Cohort’s Entrepreneurial Talent
When our Reporter, Susan Alexander, came back from interviewing the young up and coming entrepreneurial talent of students at the Yarrabilba State Secondary College’s recent Shark Tank event, we wanted to know more. So we asked Head of Department, Teacher Chris Gauthier, for some more information about the program:
- What was the age group and number of teams?
This task was for our entire year 9 cohort of students, across five classes (approximately 120 students).
- How was the Shark Tank concept instigated into the school’s
program, whose idea was it?
YSSC is built on doing school differently. One aspect of that, is our focus on project based learning approaches and building of Entrepreneurial skills. To bring these opportunities to fruition, our College has been working with Nicole Dyson and the team at Future Anything. The student’s this term were investigating the driving stimulus:
“As an entrepreneur, pitch an innovative solution that makes the world a safer place from climatic events, human impact and/or natural disasters”.
- Who were the main organisers?
Our organisers were the year 9 students and our year 9 teachers.
- Who were the judges?
Christoph McLeod – who is currently the General Manager for Holdfast Management, which operates 6 McDonald’s restaurants in Logan, employing over 700 local employees and many of our YSSC students! He started working in the restaurants when he was 14 to earn extra pocket money and quickly rose to management positions, where he developed a passion for working with people and helping his team members to achieve the best versions of themselves, something Christoph take a lot of pride in. He completed his Bachelor of Business in 2015 and subsequently accepted the position as General Manager. Being part of his local community, through sponsoring events, community groups, sports teams and schools is an aspect of his job that Christoph thoroughly enjoys.
Chyerl Pridham – President of Logan Regional Chamber of Commerce, Member of Logan Village Advisory Committee, Board Member of Yarrabilba Community Organisation, Member of Flagstone Community Association, President of Logan Village Community Centre, Founder of Logan Village Producer’s Market and Event Co-ordinator Village Fest 2019 and 2021
Tony Sharp – Social Innovator and Founder of Substation33. Tony loves engaging people marginalised from mainstream activities to create world class products from electronic waste. Substation33 is a YFS social enterprise based in the Logan suburb of Kingston that opened in 2013 as an electronic waste recycling centre, providing a workplace where volunteers and employees gain the confidence and skills for the transition to sustainable employment. Tony has a passion to further enhance and develop start-up business innovations in Logan, which has seen him develop the Social Enterprise Network – Logan, being the Director at Queensland Social Enterprise Council and a founding member and the current chair of INNOV8 Logan. He has most recently accepted the role of Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Griffith Universities Yunus Centre. Tony has received numerous awards and recognition for his efforts, including the 2019 Banksia Foundations – Ministers award for the Environment
Belinda Tregea – Principal of Yarrabilba State Secondary College
- What were the type of inventions presented?
The ideas were quite varied, from inventions about rollup beds, to protect you in a cacoon in case of an earthquake, compostable food packaging, to natural disaster apps for community to seek assistance.
- Were the students very enthusiastic for creating the inventions?
Definitely. We saw our year 9 student cohort step out of their comfort zone and present to their peers and wider school community. They did so enthusiastically and professionally, making themselves and our entire school community very proud of their efforts
- How long was the program?
It was a 10 week program, across the entirety of Term 2.
- Who were the winners?
The winner’s of the People’s Choice Awards was: Tahleah, Storm and Ocean with their social enterprise, Ocean Slides. There idea was to take plastic waste from the ocean and turn them into upcycles slides (thongs).
The winner of the shark tank event was Maddi with her social enterprise, Broken Art. Maddy has a strong passion for art and being creative. She found that her art supplies aren’t made from recyclable or earth friendly materials. Her idea is to take ocean plastic and turn it into 3D printing filament, which in turn, she will use to create paint brush sets.
The runner ups were Deshan, Brady and Josh, with their social enterprise called Bushfire Detectors. Their idea is all about trying to prevent bushfires before they even happen! To do this, they would create sensors that are placed in bushfire prone areas. These sensors would detect heat, smoke and gas emissions, relaying information to relevant authorities. They would also deploy drones to survey the area in question, and if applicable, deploy a fire retardant to put out the fire.
- Was the audience a good size and was it appreciative of the work done by the students?
We had over 200 parents, carers, family, friends, teachers and wider community on the night. The crowd was left awe-inspired by the high level of work that the students demonstrated.
There were even a few audience members standing up and offering students assistance in turning their ideas into reality!
Thank you Chris, for a great insight into an amazing program!