Game Changer Challenge details

Learn more about the Game Changer Challenge and Education Week 2019.

What is Education Week?

Education Week is a statewide, annual event, held during the first week of August, to celebrate NSW public education. The week communicates the achievements of public schools, their students and the value of public education. Education Week 2019 runs from Monday, 5 August – Friday, 9 August.

This year’s theme is Every student, every voice. It is a celebration of student empowerment and how the NSW public education system gives students the skills they need in order to have and express a voice; during their own educational journey and as engage citizens.


What is the Game Changer Challenge and how does it relate to Education Week?

The Game Changer Challenge is an Education Week initiative that started last year. The challenge is designed to empower teachers and students with insights into design thinking as a powerful tool for developing general capabilities such as critical thinking, collaboration, empathy, and creativity. The challenge also provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to solving a real-world problem, translating learning from the classroom into a real-life context.

The challenge involves teams from 16 schools across NSW (eight primary and eight secondary) travelling to Sydney during Education Week for a three-day, intensive, design-thinking workshop.


What is the structure of the three-day workshop in Sydney?

Days 1 & 2 will see teams undergo a live sprint using design thinking processes to create a solution to the Challenge question, How might we humanise technology? The sprint will be led by experienced design thinking facilitators and will allow teachers the opportunity to reflect on how they might use this creative problem solving framework in their own classrooms.

Day 3 is Pitch Day! Teams will present their solutions to the Challenge question in front of a live audience and panel of judges made up of industry and department executives.

Primary and secondary school teams will compete in separate competitions.


What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a problem-solving methodology that can be used to solve problems in creative and innovative ways. Its human-centred, solutions-based approach to problem solving takes users through a journey to build empathy, ideate, prototype and test whether a solution is viable in a very short period of time. It is renowned as a strategy for innovation, pushing users to move beyond pre-programmed ways of thinking.

Design Thinking is extremely useful for tackling complex challenges as the methodology privileges the human need at the core of a problem and builds solutions that respond to that need.

Despite its name, Design Thinking is not just for designers. Great innovators in disciplines as diverse as education, literature, art, music, science, engineering, community development, architecture and business utilise the Design Thinking processes.


Where is the Game Changer HQ?

The Game Changer Challenge will take place at the new NSW Department of Education office in Parramatta, Sydney.

Teachers and students will be accommodated at a hotel in Parramatta. Schools will be provided with support from the department’s Media Unit to manage travel and accommodation bookings and logistics.


How will I know if my school has been selected to go to Sydney during Education Week?

The 16 finalists selected to come to Sydney will be notified by the department’s Media Unit once judging is complete. Following the notification the Media Unit will work with each school to prepare all the logistics pertaining to travel and accommodation and further details for the event.


If my school is selected to travel to Sydney in August, are there any costs associated?

No. Travel, accommodation and meal allowances will be covered by the Department of Education. In addition an allowance will be paid to participating schools for relief teachers for the period Tuesday, 6 August – Thursday, 8 August.


Is there a limit of teams per school that can enter?

Yes. If you are a primary or secondary school, there is a limit of one team per school. If you are from a Central school, you may enter one primary team comprised of two teachers and six students (Years 5 - 6) AND one secondary team comprised of two teachers and six students (Year 7 - 12).


What year groups are eligible to enter?

The primary school challenge is open to students in Year 5 and Year 6.

The secondary school challenge is open to students in Year 7 - Year 12.


What are the dates for the trip to Sydney?

Teams need to arrive in Parramatta, Sydney by 5pm on Monday, 5 August. The challenge will end at 1pm on Thursday, 8 August. For the duration of the challenge, teams will be accommodated in a hotel in Parramatta.


Who owns the IP generated through the Game Changer Challenge?

The NSW Department of Education owns and will retain all IP generated through the Game Changer Challenge.

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