Teachers and students from 12 SA schools will learn more about water as a precious and renewable resource including Indigenous knowledge, water management, and innovative ideas for building cooler, healthier communities. This pioneering program also empowers children to become innovators and problem-solvers in a fun and authentic way as participating students will help design innovative solutions to water-related issues.
The pilot program will be achieved through a Water Warriors-themed Challenge Course using Makers Empire. Teachers from each school will also complete the Makers Empire Learning by Design professional development course that includes a full day of professional development.
The 12 schools from the city, hills and regional communities are Berri Primary School, Moorook Primary School, Cobdogla Primary School, Hawthorndene Primary School, Wallaroo Primary School, St Thomas School, Marryatville High School, Southport Primary School, St Patrick’s School, Allendale East Area School, Monash Primary School and Glossop Primary School.
Teachers from the schools recently participated in a professional development day held at SA Water.
Matt Stuckey, Director of Customer Success at Makers Empire firstly outlined the day’s activities and then explained Makers Empire’s mission and vision. Next, representatives from SA Water including Megan Short, Manager, Innovation and Jessica Limongelli, Graduate, explained their jobs at SA Water and described how they used problem-solving and Design Thinking in their everyday work. Megan also shared a plastic device that was recently developed to test wastewater for Covid-19.
Teachers were then introduced to Makers Empire’s 3D design software, the basic training tutorials in the Training Lab and the specially developed Water Warriors challenge course, which their students will be working through.
In the afternoon, teachers participated in a Design Thinking exercise using a water bottle. Teachers had to work through all the stages of the Design Thinking cycle including empathy, define, ideate, prototype and test. They then had to pitch their solutions to the group and answer questions about their designed solutions.
The SA Water x Makers Empire program culminates in an expo-style showcase day in the second week of term three when the schools will come together to celebrate and share their learning. The showcase day will happen co-currently in Adelaide at Lot Fourteen (where Makers Empire is based) and at Berri Primary School for the Berri schools, with a live stream connecting the venues.
SA Water General Manager of Strategy, Engagement and Innovation, Sandra Ricci, said it is an exciting partnership.
“Sustainability is an important aspect of how we deliver trusted water services to our 1.7 million customers, and we know the actions we take today will play a vital role in delivering benefits for generations to come,” Sandra said.
“This partnership provides an opportunity to collaborate with young innovators on South Australia’s water future, and we can’t wait to see what ideas the students come up with.”
Anthony Chhoy, co-CEO of Makers Empire says, “This is a fantastic public-private initiative between two innovative South Australian organisations helping educate our children on our most precious resource and empowering them to become creators, innovators and problem-solvers – I can’t wait to see the innovative solutions on water-related issues the children will come up with.”