Nine high school students from Dubbo have pitched in to help design a $5 billion "city of the future" in Western Sydney.
Year 9 and 10 students from the Central West Leadership Academy travelled to Sydney last week for the Sydney Science Park STEM Cross-Schools Challenge Day, which saw them work together with students from other schools to help identify and solve problems for the Sydney Science Park development at Luddenham.
The event, which is in its third year, was created by property development company Celestino in partnership with CSIRO and the Association of Independent Schools of NSW (AISNSW).
"The students love the fact that this is real and that their ideas might be used in the development of future cities and communities," said AISNSW Education Consultant, Angela Schumacher.
On the day, the Dubbo students were split into teams with students from Burwood, Parramatta and Sydney's North Shore and had two hours to come up with a prototype plan featuring innovative solutions for energy, health, water, waste, transport and urban agriculture. The teams then had three minutes to pitch their ideas to the judges.
Winning concepts included raised carparks to capture water run-off for re-use, aerial walkways with hydroponic gardens and smart sensors to regulate building's lighting and heating.
Sydney Science Park General Manager for Business Development, Duncan Challen, said the program gives students a practical way to shape the development of "more liveable, healthy, connected, sustainable and resilient cities".
"These students are the future prosperity of NSW and Australia, and it is important that we provide them with the platforms to help them think about a career they may have never imagined before, and that we listen authentically to their voices on how we should build their new cities," he said.
The event also gave the Dubbo students an opportunity to meet and network with industry professionals and experts from Penrith City Council, Questacon, the Powerhouse Museum, Celestino and the CSIRO.
"We love real world learning, engaging students with other schools and future focused mindsets," said the Central West Leadership Academy.
"Thanks CSIRO, Celestino and AINSW for including our regional kids in exciting learning opportunities in the city."
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