Students design creative solutions

Students from across the Mid North gathered in Gladstone on Wednesday to present their creative solutions to global agricultural problems to a South Australian Grains Industry Trust judge.

About 200 secondary school students from Orroroo, Peterborough, Booleroo, Quorn, Gladstone and Jamestown participated in the eight-week challenge where they were to work on an invention that could increase sustainable food production. 

Kicking off the students’ thinking was a CSI mini field day in Booleroo Centre in September where students explored plant breeding and genetics, precision agriculture, agricultural engineering, machinery innovation in addition to drones and weather monitoring. 

There were over 90 entries that were chosen to compete in the grand final of the pilot program and these were all judged by SAGIT project manager Malcolm Buckby, education department representative Harry Moate and AgCommunicators director Belinda Cay. 

The winners announced on the day were: 

  • 1st Place, Booleroo Centre, Kodi and Mitchell, Drone Spreader
  • 2nd Place, Booleroo Centre, Liam Bastian, Hay making machine
  • Tied 3rd place, Jamestown High School, Sarah and Cassie, Fatigue glasses
  • Tied 3rd place, Peterborough High School, Tom, Hayley, Kayla and Erin, Weed puller   
  • People’s Choice award went to Gladstone High School students, Chloe and Elyce for their grain bank idea.

Kodi and Mitchell won a $1,000 voucher to work with a trademark and patent attorney who will help them progress their invention and make it a commercial reality. 

AgCommunicators director Belinda Cay said the investigators program is a fantastic initiative that supports the future generations of ag innovators. 

“We are encouraging students to use STEM thinking to develop solutions for future food production”, she said.