Scientists in Schools

Future communicators

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  • Jackie Slaviero, Eastwood Public School, Eastwood, NSW
  • Ajith Karunaratne, Telstra Corporation

Inspired by Ajith's Evolution of Communication presentation, Year 3 and 4 students at Eastwood Public School rose to the challenge to design and build a communication device for the year 2020.

During his presentation, Ajith posed the questions: “What do you think communication devices will look like in 2020? What sorts of features will they have and how will we use them?” The questions fired up the imaginations of the 200 students listening.

Working in small teams over the following nine months, students excitedly planned their devices and created prototypes, hoping their creativity and presentation skills would be enough to make the Top 15 shortlist. The shortlisted fifteen groups presented their device via videoconference to a panel of Telstra staff members.

A device to be proud of

The opportunity to share the ideas of primary school students with business people is rare and Jackie and Eastwood Public Principal, Luke Witney, feel it is important to increase these opportunities. They explain, "Student thinking tends to be more imaginative and creative the younger they are. Primary school students are an untapped resource for the R and D departments of major corporations."

In this partnership, Ajith contributed knowledge and utilised his network of colleagues. Organisation support was evident with six of Ajith’s colleagues, five of whom were managers within Telstra, volunteering their time to form the panel.

Where to from here? Jackie and Ajith plan to build on this project and register for CSIRO’s CREST Awards program so students can undertake open-ended investigations with Ajith acting as mentor

Ajith's presentation

Communication in the year 2020

A device of the future