2 August 2010

Young people are often nagged for spending too much time on computers and other gadgets, but on August 7 their technological skills will be challenged and rewarded.

Queensland school students are busy putting the final touches to their information and communications technology (ICT) projects ahead of the inaugural Young ICT Explorers event taking place on Saturday in Brisbane at UQ’s St Lucia campus.

The University of Queensland will play host to the competition where about 150 primary and high school students will show off their ICT creations, which could be anything from an iPhone application to a computer game or a robot.

Students will be competing in teams in three age categories across years four to 12, drawing students from as far away as Cairns.

Young ICT Explorers was created to foster the development of information and communications technology skills in school students due to its increasing importance to society.

The Head of UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Professor Paul Strooper, said the demand for ICT professionals was growing, so it was vital to develop student interest in this diverse and ever-changing profession.

“We are eager to see what the students have been working on and to show them the huge range of opportunities available in ICT," he said.

“Young ICT Explorers is a brilliant way to showcase the ICT ideas of young people and to connect them with ICT professionals working in the field.”

The event is being organised through a partnership between UQ and business software vendor SAP Australia, with further support from NICTA and the Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education. ICT professionals will also act as project judges.

Head of SAP Research for the Asia Pacific and Japan regions, Associate Professor Karsten Schulz said he was looking forward to the event.

"I’m delighted with the response we’ve had from both teachers and students with a variety of interests,” he said.

Young ICT Explorers will become an annual event. It encourages and inspires students to get involved and pursue careers in the world of ICT.

What: Young ICT Explorers

When: Saturday August 7, 2010 from 10am with winners announced around 2pm

Where: UQ Centre (Building 27A), Union Road, The University of Queensland, St Lucia

Competing schools: AB Paterson College, Brisbane Girls Grammar, Calamvale Community College, Citipointe Christian College, Clayfield College, Good News Lutheran School, Indooroopilly State High School, Mansfield State High School, Marist College Ashgrove, Nyanda State High School, Queensland Academy for Creative Industries, Queensland Academy of Science Mathematics and Technology, Silkwood School, St Andrew’s Anglican College, St Monica’s College and Villanova College.

For more information see the competition website: www.youngictexplorers.net.au

Media enquiries: Charlotte Camerer on 0435 055 304 / (07) 3365 2382 or at c.camerer@uq.edu.au