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‘Future Anything’ Awards recognise Flinders Primary School students and teachers

Young entrepreneurs are in the making at Matthew Flinders Anglican College, with three Year 6 students scooping top prizes at the Future Anything national awards in Brisbane on Monday, 20 November.

Three Year 6 students at Flinders had their epic business ideas win First Place, People’s Choice and Runners-Up awards at Future Anything’s 2023 Activate Grand Finals Showcase.

Alongside the students at the same event, the Flinders Year 6 Primary teaching team was named the ‘Educator Team of the Year’ at the Future Anything 2023 Educator Awards.

Head of Primary, Mrs Trudi Edwards, said Flinders’ five Year 6 student teams were the only primary school teams along with 14 high school teams from across Australia at the Future Anything Activate Grand Final Showcase.

“The Activate in-curriculum program that we’ve been working through at Flinders this year is incredible, and transforms young people’s passion and curiosity into innovative ideas that make the world a better place,” Mrs Edwards said.

“Our five Flinders student teams who progressed to the Grand Finals Showcase in Brisbane on Monday, 20 November worked hard to prepare for the expo-style event, where they had to promote their innovative, scalable and sustainable enterprise ideas to roving judges and guests.

“We are thrilled for Emerson Blanch in Year 6 who won First Place and the People’s Choice Award for his support product, WICS (Wow I Can Swim), which is designed to help cancer patients enjoy swimming again by waterproofing their central line tape,” she said.

The winning prize pack included $1,500 cash as well as mentoring, marketing and branding support to develop a go-to-market strategy for WICS through the Office of The Queensland Chief Entrepreneur and Advance Queensland, as well as the event sponsors.

“It was also incredibly exciting for Isla Gray and Emma Zhao, also in Year 6 at Flinders, to be named runners-up for their product, Incredible Insects,” she said.

Incredible Insects features Fiona Fly, Bella Bee and Flora Firefly as custom edible chocolates to spread awareness about the important role insects have in our world and to raise awareness about the role of neonicotinoids have in their decline.

Mrs Edwards also congratulated the three other Flinders Year 6 student teams who presented at the Activate Grand Finals Showcase:
– Woof Watchers: a personalised dog weight-loss program to support healthy pooches by Adele Larsen and Milly Sheridan
– RimWrap: a protective wheel rim for mountain bikes to spark a conversation about men’s health by Toby O’Connor, George Blake and Cooper Sparks
– Treetops: an aesthetic fake plant business which gives away seeds with every purchase by Gabi Chomley and Aara Afraz.

In 2023, Flinders Primary School was one of 65 schools across Australia to participate in ‘Activate’, which is education leader Future Anything’s in-curriculum program to upskill educators and build enterprising mindsets in students.

The Flinders Primary School was one of the early adopters of the Activate program this year, as it was opened to primary schools for the first time.

“It has been heartwarming to observe all of our Year 6 students embracing the opportunity to empathise, ideate and prototype to solve real world issues that are deeply meaningful to them in 2023,” Mrs Edwards said.

“Thanks to our wonderful staff team, we are committed to inspiring young people to develop the skills, confidence and capacity to develop an enterprising spirit and improve the world.”

This year marked the third annual Future Anything Educator Awards to celebrate the teachers who’ve not only led Activate in their classroom but who have lived it through their own entrepreneurial approach to teaching and learning.

“To be named Future Anything’s ‘Educator Team of the Year 2023’ is a credit to our entire Primary School teaching team who continually demonstrate their commitment, passion and joy to enhance a spirit of enterprise within our students,” Mrs Edwards said.

“I especially congratulate our Year 6 teaching team of Mrs Katie Dawson, Mr Andrew MacRae, Mrs Denise McCormack and Mrs Jenny Webb, along with our Head of Teaching and Learning in the Primary, Mrs Debbie Planck, and Head of Enterprise and Curiosity, Mr Justin Hill, as they have collaboratively and wholeheartedly embraced Activate’s project-based learning journey for our 106 Year 6 students at Flinders.

“Prior to embracing Activate this year in our classrooms, our teachers had committed to four years of growing our very own Flinders curriculum, known as I-care and i-Impact.

“These bespoke programs teach our students from Prep to Year 6 the joy, potential and positive impact of human-centred design thinking,” she said.

Flinders also recently won Primary School of the Year (Non-Government) at the 2023 Australian Education Awards and was named in The Educator’s 5-Star Innovative Schools for the second year in a row.

For more information, visit www.mfac.edu.au

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