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For the Whole of Their Life.

Engineering Students Win University of Sydney Competition

This past weekend, two Year 11 Engineering Studies students were invited to speak at an event hosted by the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney.

The event was the Enabled by Design-athon where participants were given the task of creating a device that would enable a person living with a disability to have a better quality of life. The project they were demonstrating was a Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Hand that Brandon Love had developed last year as his Year 10 Major Work in the iSTEM course.  

Brandon was assisted by Thomas Vidler, also from the same iSTEM class, with some of the electronics and coding.  Following their presentation, Brandon and Thomas were invited to participate in the competition, and joined a team of six other designers to create a device to assist autistic children when in school. 

Their team’s solution consisted of an electronic wristband (the “Sensory Awareness Monitor”), worn by an autistic student that is designed to monitor their anxiety levels and warn the teacher that an intervention would be advisable before the student became upset. It is interesting to note that Brandon and Thomas’ team included a Principal and teacher from the Aspect Hunter Special School in Thornton. 

After two intense days of innovating and problem solving, each team’s solutions were assessed, with the judges awarding the Major Prize to Brandon and Thomas’s team. 

"The winning team were given $10,000 to form a new start-up business, a 16-week business accelerator course and $20,000 for further development of their device."

Sponsored by NSW Family & Community Services, Telstra and ING Direct, the winning team were given $10,000 to form a new start-up business, a 16-week business accelerator course and $20,000 for further development of their device. 

Mr David Bonzo, Brandon and Thomas’ Engineering Studies and iSTEM teacher said, “I wish to extend my sincerest congratulations to Brandon Love (2nd from L) and Thomas Vidler (2nd from R) for the excellent work they have undertaken in the iSTEM course over the past two years, and now, in Engineering Studies. 

They have exemplified the College’s core values of Christ First, Serve One Another, Strive for Excellence, Do What is Right and Build Community. It has been my privilege to be their teacher.”

On behalf of St Philip’s Christian College, I too want to congratulate and commend Brandon and Thomas for being willing to extend themselves beyond their own perceived capabilities to achieve such amazing accomplishments, which will certainly benefit people in our society and globally.

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