Forest Lake one day, NASA the next. A group of Brisbane school students are on their way to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
The 26 ‘Future Thinkers’ from St John’s Anglican College have been hand-picked to join a group of international students at NASA as part of the annual Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge.
This is the second year in a row students from St John’s have made the semi-finals and been invited to NASA. They are the only students from Australia to win the coveted invitation this year.
In order to score an invite, students were required to come up with real life, game-changing ideas that would support global sustainability and benefit humanity. They had to recognise a problem, come up with a solution and identify a path to commercialisation for that solution.
Among the ideas generated by students from St John’s were innovate medical devices to support sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and anaphylaxis; an app to benefit insomniacs; and a space suit to enhance safety for astronauts.
Head of College Suzanne Bain is justifiably proud of her students’ achievements.
“The Challenge equips our students with essential skills to succeed in a rapidly changing global future,” she says. “It teaches them to connect, create and collaborate and encourages them to design things that really matter and make a difference in the world.”
St John’s Anglican College Year 11 student Olivia Hutley travelled to Florida in 2015 as part of the school’s Conrad Challenge team.
“I wouldn’t trade in the experience for the world,” she says. “It taught me that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you always have the capability to achieve something amazing.”
The Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge will be held at the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, from April 20-24.