BrainSTEM Innovation Challenge

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The BrainSTEM Innovation Challenge is a program for Year 9 / 10 high school students. Working in teams of 4-5 students, each team works with and is mentored by scientists, academics or industry professionals in the STEM field to design, research and develop a real-world application.

As part of the Year 10 Innovation Accelerator course, two teams were entered from Korowa, and worked with their mentor over a 12-week period covering both distance and on-site learning. Teams would meet with their mentor regularly during class time to discuss ideas, allocate research and tasks and develop their idea to a prototype stage.

Korowa Team 1 consisted of Ella, Snigdha and Alissa. They were mentored by Alexander Nance, a PhD candidate from Monash University in Biological Sciences, specifically ecology and conservation. This team developed a prototype for a mobile app to assist women and men to identify signs of breast cancer early, to link them with the appropriate medical services and imaging, and to help manage their treatment if necessary.

Korowa Team 2 consisted of Mia, Alex, Jessica and Karles. They were mentored by Dr. Belinda Lawford, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne, specializing in chronic joint pain, exercise and weight loss. This team developed a prototype for a mobile app to guide and support individuals managing arthritis through physiotherapy and exercise. The app was designed to inform, guide and support patients, as well as providing motivation through social interaction and rewards.

All the teams made their final presentations at the BrainSTEM Innovation Challenge Presentation morning remotely through Zoom, along with other teams from a range of schools from Victoria and New South Wales.