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Murray Bridge High School students win innovator award in IT industry competition
Murray Bridge High School has won a 2023 South Australian and Northern Territory iAward at an Australian Information Industry Association awards ceremony.
At the 30th annual SA and NT iAwards, held at Stone and Chalk in Adelaide, two Murray Bridge High School students have won the student and education solution of the year category for their innovation, Bunyip Bellower.
Bunyip Bellower is a chat app that allows ease of communication between members of school social clubs.
The two students, Lachlan and Lucas, met through the school’s robotics club and thought of the idea for the app in their holidays.
“Something that started as a holiday project ended up winning an award,” Lachlan said.
When the school’s robotics club struggled to find a way for members to communicate, Lachlan and Lucas took it upon themselves to find a solution.
Bunyip Bellower was the result.
“It’s an online web application for members of any social club to communicate with each other,” Lucas said.
Lachlan and Lucas’s mentor and STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – teacher David Heath added that Bunyip Bellower was “a safe place to chat”.
The iAwards had been a great opportunity for his students to get involved in the professional side of the industry, he said.
Lachlan and Lucas said they had gained valuable technical know-how from creating a new app.
“I learnt a lot about how web apps are changed, created and designed,” Lachlan said.
In turn, Lucas said he had learned “quite a bit about the back end side of things with databases and website design”.
The creators of Bunyip Bellower were rightly proud of their iAward on a personal level, but also expressed pride about the bigger picture.
“We’re really excited and proud, especially to represent Murray Bridge High School,” Lucas said.
“We’ve seen with the robotics club a chance to interact with technology and have fun with it,” Lachlan said.
“It’s shown that you don’t have to be from the city and need lots of money and access to technology to make something great.”
The Murray Bridge High School students, along with the other state winners, will now compete for the national iAwards title, which will be announced at Sky City Adelaide on August 31.