About the Game Changer Challenge

This year's Game Changer Challenge is now underway.
It's not too late to sign up a team and join in with the design thinking fun!

#GCC2021 reinvented

Video - Game Changer Challenge 2021 promo

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Is your team participating in this year's challenge?

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Get ready, Game Changer Challenge 2021 has arrived!

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The challenge is reinvented

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Game Changer Challenge 2021

Student group in unison

Game Changing idea!

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Game Changer is a design thinking challenge open to all NSW public schools.

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Are you a Game Changer …or a Social Changemaker?

You choose!

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Join the challenge!

education.nsw.gov.au/game-changer-challenge

NSW Government logo

State of New South Wales (Department of Education), 2021

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This year we are introducing a brand-new challenge where you can choose your adventure. Do you want to become a Game Changer or a Social Changemaker? It will be up to you to decide!

This year’s challenge officially started on 3 May with the release of the first challenge playbook and wicked problem but it's not too late to sign up a team and get started on your design thinking journey.

Our wicked problem

Humans have unlimited needs, but the planet has limited capacity to satisfy them.

How to join the challenge

  1. Create a team of five students with different strengths and personalities and sign up your team. You will need to think of a creative team name too!
    To access the form you will need to sign in with your @education.nsw.gov.au Google account.
  2. Game Changer Teacher Hub in Microsoft Teams. All registered teachers will get access to the GCC Teacher Hub with links to resources and other helpful tips and information.
  3. Prepare for the challenge by watching our Super 7 innovation showcase videos, work through the design thinking across the curriculum resource or look at our previous challenge pages.

What is the Game Changer Challenge?

Entering its fourth year, the design thinking challenge is open to all 2,200+ public schools across the state and centres on exploring solutions for a real-world, wicked problem.

This year we are introducing a dual-stream, student-led, step-by-step challenge where all teams start the challenge together by working through a design thinking resource called the playbook.

Who can enter?

The Game Changer Challenge is open to all NSW public schools and all ability levels from beginner to advanced are encouraged to join!

  • Each team must have 5 students and a teacher.
  • Schools can sign up more than 1 team, but each team must have 5 different students. The same teacher can lead more than 1 team.
  • The junior category is for students from Year 3 to 6, and the senior category is for students from Year 7 to 12.

What is design thinking?

Design thinking is a human-centred approach to solving complex problems. Empathy and collaboration are at the heart of design thinking.

The five-step process starts by encouraging problem solvers to walk in the shoes of those experiencing the 'problem' to gain a deeper insight into the challenges and issues they face (empathy).

This knowledge is then used to develop a clear problem statement (define), work on solutions (ideate), turn these solutions into tangible products (prototype) and then see whether the solution will work (test).

Design thinking is not a linear process. With each stage, you make new discoveries that require you to rethink and redefine what you have already done.

Design thinking brings our head, heart and hands together to find innovative solutions to complex problems.

This process can be used over and over again, for small or complex problems.

Key dates

Week Description
Week 3,
Term 2
3 May
Challenge opens!
Teams can start working through the challenge playbook
Week 7,
Term 2
Friday 4 June
Video applications deadline
Week 3, Term 3 Tuesday 27 July
Virtual heat 1 - Rural North

Wednesday 28 July
Virtual heat 2 - Rural South & West

Friday 30 July
Virtual heat 3 - Regional South
Week 4,
Term 3
Tuesday 3 August
Virtual heat 4 - Regional North

Thursday 5 August
Virtual heat 5 - Regional North & West

Friday 6 August
Virtual heat 6 - Metro North
Week 5,
Term 3
Monday 9 August
Virtual heat 7 - Metro South

Tuesday 10 August
Virtual heat 8 - Metro South & West
Week 9
Term 3
8-10 September
Teams compete in the ultimate challenge final held at UTS Aerial Centre, Sydney


Contact us

Do you have a specific question or need more detail about this year’s challenge? Send an email to GCC@det.nsw.edu.au

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