The NRMA Future of Transport Challenge

The NRMA Future of Transport Challenge invites students in years 7-10 to solve a real-world transport issue using design thinking principles.

The NRMA is proud to offer all high schools the opportunity to participate in the NRMA Future of Transport Challenge each year. The challenge is based around students developing design thinking principles to create a transport solution and presentation. The Challenge asks the leaders of tomorrow to imagine a more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable future. Our curriculum-mapped STEM initiative invites students in years 7-10 to solve a real-world transport issue using design-thinking and pitch the idea to industry experts. It offers students a unique opportunity to explore problems, design solutions and learn entrepreneurial skills. This video gives teachers and school leaders an overview of the Challenge.

Watch 'STEM 2022 NRMA Future of Transport Challenge' (10:35)

Kristine Luszczynski – Online Learning and Development Manager at the NRMA

(Duration: 10 minutes 35 seconds)


[Red and blue logo revealed reading ‘STEM 2022 On demand’.]


My name is Kristine, and I work for the NRMA, as the Online Learning and Development Manager. I lead the online road safety programs for both primary schools and high schools, as well as my incredibly important role of leading the NRMA Future of Transport Challenge.

The NRMA has successfully delivered education programs through face-to-face and online learning around road safety for many years. Since 2017, we have challenged students in years 7 to 10, to use design thinking to solve real-world transport problems facing Australia and the world.

We want them to imagine a more sustainable future of transport. Historically, the NRMA Future of Transport Challenge has been a face-to-face event, as a key component of the Youth Eco Summit at Sydney Olympic Park.

Thanks to COVID, we have moved the challenge into an online environment, which is great news for schools across New South Wales, as it has now made the Challenge far more accessible, to all high schools across New South Wales.

And we welcome your interest and are excited for your school to be part of this highly successful program.

The NRMA is passionate about a sustainable future. Our business strategy is focused on the future.

[Screen reads, Electric vehicle fast charger,]

The future of help, the future for our members, our community, our nation, ourselves, and for generations to come.

[Screens shows, a person charging an electric car.]

We've been helping people for more than 100 years, and as the world changes, we are reimagining the way people move.

[Screen shows, a series of photographs, 4 people sitting on motorbikes and 2 people dressed in NRMA uniforms.]

With more than 2.7 million members, we are looking for ways to add value to our members' lives and their communities, and to mobilise our members base for good.

We are a purpose-led organisation, which means we're always searching for ways to create shared value, while solving big issues and key challenges faced by the wider community.

[Screen shows, a series of pictures, an NRMA roadside assist, and screen reads, Helping in our communities.

A large group of people gathered, with the Sydney Harbour bridge in the background, and the screen reads, Reconciliation Action Plan]

We are focused on making meaningful differences in areas such as leading inequitable, affordable, and simple transition to electric vehicles, road safety, sustainable transport solutions, and supporting our regional communities to thrive, for generations more.

[Screen shows, a series of pictures, firstly, a group of people, and the screen reads, SHINE LGBTQI and Ally group, and the second, is a person in a wheelchair exiting a car, and the screen reads, Reform accessible parking.

Thirdly, the screen shows a group of people, gathered around an electric vehicle fast charger, and the screen reads, Our electric vehicles mission.]

Screens shows, roadside assist vehicles and staff, and the screen reads, Outback links.]

And we are also Australia's first motoring body to be, Climate Active certified.

[Screen shows, charging an electric car, and screen reads, Achieving carbon neutrality.]

For schools, the real value of the NRMA Future of Transport Challenge, is the way it supports and underpins the STEM curriculum in your school. Don't just take my word for it. Let's hear from past students and teachers that have been involved.

[Screen reads, 2018 Future of Transport Challenge

Screen reads, The NRMA future of transport challenge finals saw 4 schools pitch their concepts to a panel of industry experts in front of a live audience.]

Ainslie: [Abbotsleigh College]

I'm Ainslie, and I go to Abbotsleigh, and our project is called Flow.

[Screen reads, FLOW.]

And basically, what it plans to do is get rid of all cars within the Sydney CBD and move them out to the perimeter, so it can be a lot more sustainable inside.

[Screen reads, Our Vision, Flow aims to eliminate all cars from Sydney CBA, by introducing carparks and improving transport within the city. It also aims to convert existing CBD roads and paths into a safer and more sustainable environment.]

Illiana and Jamie: [Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt]

The name of our project is the Mobile Train Attachment or MTA, and it's a system of driverless pods that can connect together to form a train and travel together, but they can also go stand-alone to more destinations. They work in the city on existing bus routes.

[Screens reads, Mobile Train Attachment, Its not public transport, it’s not private, Why the MTA is for you: 1. Comfortable, 2. Flexibility, 3. Efficient.]

Zoey: [All Saints Greek Orthodox Grammar]

What I have enjoyed most about working on this challenge is being able to work as a team with other members, that I wouldn't normally have worked with, and also being able to create an innovative and effective product for future years.

[Screen reads, Patrick, Waverley College]

It's a great experience, and especially this point here when you make the top 4, it's an amazing initiative and experience to take part of, and the boys are really excited to do it today. So yeah, definitely recommend it.

Rohan Lund: [NRMA Group CEO]

It's so refreshing to see people who, with unconstrained thinking in their ideas, they were, it was courageous thinking.

The rest of us, you know, we get trapped in a way of, "This is the way things have been, so that's the way they should be." But the pitches today just came in fresh and bold. So no, it was invigorating.

David Springbett [Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt]

One of the things we really liked about the NRMA one, is that actually came with ready-to-go teaching material, as opposed to, like a lot of the challenges you see, here's the challenge, here's a prize or an opportunity, but then the teacher has to develop all that background.

The NRMA stuff came ready-to-go. We could just instantly go; we've got these 4 courses. Let's put 'em straight into those, and away we went. So, it was really, really good.

[Screen reads, NRMA, Design thinking playbook: For students and teachers.

The future of transport website provides teachers with comprehensive teaching resources to assist integration of the challenge in the classroom.

Screen shows, various sample pages from the ‘Design thinking Playbook. For students and teachers.]

Michael Farrell: [Abbotsleigh College]

[Screen reads, the challenge leverages STEM and design thinking approaches to inspire students and prepare them, for tomorrow’s workforce.]

So, when the program came along, and we looked at and explored the way it was going to guide the students through the process, we thought, "Oh, that was exactly what we are doing now." And this is going to help reinforce a behaviour of design thinking that we want the students to adopt.

[Screen reads, Students in audience get to vote for their winner in the live pole. Screen shows, the live poll voting.

The screen reads, Sydney Secondary College, Leichhardt, takes out the win with their Mobile Train Attachment [MTA].]

Illiana and Jamie [Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt]

It was really rewarding to kind of have all this, like, to have all of the effort we put into it, and the end see that people really cared about having it implemented.

And they thought it was a good idea and a lot of great feedback from the judges.

Cassie Perry [Waverly College]

I would definitely recommend the challenge to other teachers in schools, and it'd be great. We're thinking about incorporating it into the curriculum next year, rather than just having it as co-curricular activity.

[Screen reads, NRMA, register your school today for the NRMA future of transport challenge. NRMA,]


Throughout the years, we've had many schools take home the challenge prize, including St. Matthews Catholic College in Mudgee in 2021. They had a proposal to educate their community on EV technologies and expanding infrastructure in the area.

[Screen reads, fast chargers, and electric vehicles.]

The Challenge allows for schools to tackle real-world, future transport challenges that are relevant to their community and to themselves.

In 2020, a year 10 team from Bethlehem College in Ashfield won with their pitch of a user-friendly app, designed for people with disabilities to allow for convenient, real-time booking of accessible transport services on the Leppington train line.

[Screen reads, The Benefits of a transport 2U: Quick and Easy: Order a ramp at the click of a button! Unique Features, Contact station staff directly, to prepare ramp, Provides detailed maps of disabled facilities in train stations. Equality on the Train: Decreases inconvenience for disabled people travelling on the train, User Friendly, Easy to use for all people!]

It is this type of courageous, bold thinking that the challenge evokes, promotes, and applauds. Whether you are a school in the city, or even in a rural or remote location, your students are able to participate alongside other schools from all over the state.

The NRMA are proud contributors to the iSTEM department-approve elective course for Stage 5, in the area of sustainable transport. The 2 core iSTEM topics of STEM fundamentals and STEM project-based learning have outcomes also easily achieved by participation in the NRMA Future of Transport Challenge.

[Screen shows, iSTEM department-approve elective course, for Stage 5, scrolling through pages. The screen zooms in, and highlights: Specialised topic – Sustainable transport: Outcomes page 74, Content page 75, and References page 79.]

On registering interest for the challenge, you'll be emailed a whole range of support material to ensure successful participation in the challenge.

One resource that is quite valuable is our design thinking playbook. The design thinking playbook outlines all you need to know to run a successful, evidence-based STEM initiative for your students. We have also included a range of resources to support you.

[Screen shows, the design thinking process, scrolling through various pages of the Wireframe components.]

And, as you can see, the challenge supports the achievement of a range of outcomes. Once you have registered for the challenge, these valuable insightful resources become available to you.

You will lead and support your students to investigate a real-world, future transport problem. They will then work through the design thinking process to determine an evidence-based solution.

Then each of your registered teams will develop a video of their pitch presentation.

Following your school's final submission, a team of NRMA industry experts will judge and select the finalist teams. Here at the NRMA, we have many talented people with expertise and experience in a range of areas.

Transport, technology, sustainability, finance, marketing, user experience, education, just to name a few. The finalist teams will have the opportunity to be set up with our leaders in industry. They will be there to offer advice, to strengthen the students' presentations, as well as talk about their roles in their relevant industries.

The 2022 challenge is in full swing, and the winning teams will soon be selected.

Are you interested in the 2023 challenge for your school?

To register your interest, go to the website on the screen, and select the register button. You'll receive a confirmation and a link to the resources, as well as a clear timeline for your planning purposes.

[Screen shows, the NRMA Future of Transport Challenge website, register your interest page, scrolling down to show resources.]

Generally, schools work with their students across terms 2 and 3 to develop their pitch. The pitch, and then the accompanying documents, are submitted towards the end of term 3.

Mentoring occurs in the final weeks of term 3 and early term 4, with the finals event being held in November.

With amazing prizes on offer to the winning schools and student teams, we are excited to have you join us next year, for the 2023 NRMA Future of Transport Challenge.

[Screen reads, NRMA, register your school today for the 2023 NRMA future of transport challenge,]

[Video concludes by displaying the NSW Government logo.]

[End of transcript]

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