Innovation programs for schools.

Humble was commissioned by University of New England (UNE) to deliver an innovation program and competition for local schools in Armidale, New South Wales.

Kickstarter aims to empower high-school students to realise their business ideas and potential. This program teaches students to give their opinions on major cultural and community issues, identify solutions, develop creative solutions and pitch them to a panel, just as real entrepreneurs would. It gives students an open and creative environment to develop an idea that focuses on an issue important to them. It helps students to realise their ability as an individual to effect change in their community through business. 

We designed the program for everyone, whether they are taking business classes or not. 

For UNE, we ran the Kickstarter program with 144 Year 9 students at four schools in Armidale, NSW. Students had to develop a unique idea based on the topic of ‘Healthy and Sustainable Communities’. The program was a huge success, with every group developing a unique business idea and prototype. Amongst the winning ideas were: A mental health and community connection app; A YouTube channel on youth mental health awareness; and a platform for disabled people to share what they would like to see in their community. Each group received seed funding and UNE SRI/Humble mentorship to realise their idea. 

We witnessed outstanding levels of student engagement and outputs, demonstrating the accessible nature of program. Several teachers commented that they had never seen their students so engaged. Every group of students fully engaged in the facilitated discussions on issues affecting their local community. The activity was easily accessible and broke down many barriers to participation in the program. Every group of students finished the program with a pitch deck and working prototype of their project. Several teachers commented that this kind of output would usually take them much longer to generate from their students.

The impact was uniform across all demographics, demonstrating inclusive nature of program. There was palpable enthusiasm from students, not just to participate in the program, but to reach the final – and then to win the competition. This determination and enthusiasm was not confined to the high achievers and it reached across the full spectrum of demographics. 

The program is strongly aligned with the curriculum in a number of areas and this was recognised by the teachers involved. A D&T teacher asked to use the program materials to support their “product building” unit as our methodology “exactly aligned to curriculum requirements and facilitated idea generation and early-stage prototyping better than they currently do it.”.

We believe that the program demonstrates the relevance and value of students’ learning in a practical, meaningful way, inspiring and motivating them to take action, as they now understand what is possible.

“Thank you for all that you did with our students at Guyra. They had a blast and felt heard, it was lovely seeing them blossom outside of their own environment, still brings shivers.”

Steph Belson

Guyra Central School