Riverside Girls High STEAM team win Metro challenge

Riverside Girls High won the 2023 Metro Minds STEAM challenge with an idea to relieve overcrowding on the Sydney Metro system.

Four students holding a cardboard Metro carriage. Four students holding a cardboard Metro carriage.
Image: The Year 9 Riverside Girls High STEAM team of Grace Louey, Katrina Koop, Annabelle Tan and Kaitlyn Fong.

An innovative idea to redesign Sydney Metro rail carriages has won top prize for a team of Riverside Girls High School students in the annual Metro Minds STEAM* challenge.

The Metro Minds STEAM Challenge is a real world, design-thinking exercise for public and independent school students from Year 7 to 10.

Students are required to work together to identify a solution to an authentic Sydney Metro challenge or opportunity.

The winning Riverside Girls High team of Year 9 students Grace Louey, Katrina Koop, Annabelle Tan and Kaitlyn Fong presented an innovative idea called UPIC (User Personalised Integrated Carriages).

The winning idea used research to show Sydney Metro commuters were feeling pressure from overcrowding.

The team redesigned Metro carriages to be more space efficient and proposed manufacturing and fitting sensors in carriage seats and handrails to collect live data to optimise the system’s carrying capacity.

The data would be transmitted ‘live’ to indicator boards at Metro stops, which would help commuters identify where they should stand on the platform to access the emptiest carriages.

The team designed a prototype of their redesigned carriage solution to present to the challenge judges.

This is the fifth Metro Minds STEAM challenge, with students taking on real project roles, employing the design-thinking process and working with Sydney Metro ambassadors to refine their ideas.

The 2023 challenge included 82 teams from 19 schools.

Five teams were shortlisted as finalists and invited to pitch their idea to a judging panel comprised of Sydney Metro project directors and a live audience of 80 people.

Students from Catherine McAuley Westmead, North Sydney Boys High School, Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus and Xavier College made up the other four teams. 

*STEAM is an acronym for Science, Maths, Engineering, Arts and Maths.

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