Final showdown for Game Changer Challenge

The countdown is on for the Game Changer Challenge, with 24 school teams preparing for the design-thinking grand final.

Students sitting at a table. Students sitting at a table.
Image: Students brainstorming at the 2022 Game Changer Challenge grand final.

Students from public schools are investigating solutions to real-world problems – from affordable housing to mosquito-repellent clothing and social connections for the elderly and people with disability.

These are some of the ideas bubbling away in the lead-up to the 2023 grand final of the award-winning Game Changer Challenge.

Other school teams are looking at sustainable materials to fix potholes, drones to assist in remote medical emergencies, a walk safely to school app, and a fence that alerts owners if pets escape, to reduce the number of native animals being attacked by domestic animals.

The 24 school teams – from Casino in the north to Wagga Wagga in the south – will use design thinking methodology to help solve a real-world wicked problem in the Department of Education’s Game Changer Challenge. 

The grand final will be held at the Department’s Parramatta office between 7-9 November 2023.

This year students have been challenged to invent or innovate something that will change our world and leave a lasting impact. 

NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar said the Game Changer Challenge ‘wicked problem’ was inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9 to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. 

“The Game Changer Challenge harnesses the power of young minds to solve the real-world problems of today and those we will face in the future,” Mr Dizdar said. 

“Over the past six years we’ve seen students of all ages take what they have learned in the classroom and transform their ideas into innovative and practical solutions.” 

A record number of submissions were received this year, with almost 400 school teams entering The Game Changer Challenge.

Of these, 120 teams participated across eight virtual semifinals, with the 24 highest-scoring teams progressing to the three-day grand final.

The grand finalists include small schools, Leeville Public and Krambach Public, selective school Hurlstone Agricultural High School with two teams, and primary students from the virtual school, Aurora College.

On 9 November teams will present their solutions and prototypes at the Game Changer Challenge Ideas Expo, where judges and industry partners will wander around the expo area, interacting with students, learning about their ideas and sharing feedback.  

The winners in five categories will be announced by Mr Dizdar at 12.30pm.

A virtual expo will be published on the Game Changer Challenge website, allowing visitors to virtually walk through the Ideas Expo and view team ideas and prototypes. 

Game Changer Challenge 2023 grand finalists

Primary schools Secondary schools
Alstonville Public School Asquith Girls High School
Aurora College Dapto High School
Bangalow Public School Hurlstone Agricultural High School x 2
Casula Public School Parramatta High School
Chertsey Public School Terrigal High School
Clovelly Public School The Ponds High School
Coogee Public School
Cudgegong Valley Public School
Dobroyd Point Public School
Krambach Public School
Leeville Public School
Mount Terry Public School
New Lambton South Public School
North Rocks Public School
Oyster Bay Public School
Sturt Public School
Sutherland North Public School

The Game Changer Challenge won the 2021 NSW Premier’s Award for Highest Quality Education, and the 2022 Mumbrella Publish Award for Event or Virtual Event of the Year.

The 2023 Game Changer Challenge is supported by our partners: Winc., Rothfield, ABC Education, Adobe, AM Visuals, Amazon Web Services, ARUP, Become Education, Canva, Education Perfect, Engineering Ingenuity, EY, Food Ladder, HP, Macquarie, Makedo, Mott MacDonald, Powerhouse, Terracycle, Think Different Anyday, TOMRA Cleanaway, The University of NSW, Uprising Designers, Woolworths, Young Change Agents. 

Visit the Game Changer Challenge website for more information.  

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