Bendigo Tech School Director, Graeme Wiggins, and Project Co-Ordinator, Kaysee Gray, visited BSSC this morning to make a special announcement to students in Karen Green’s VCAL PDWRS HeadStart class.

A group of students who have been part of the Bees with Backpacks project (a joint project of the CSIRO and Bendigo Tech School) were named finalists in the Innovation-to-Market section of the competition.

The program looks at the importance of honeybees in maintaining biodiversity across the world and explores the issues behind the decline of bee populations over the past five decades. It requires students to design a local habitat to increase bee activity.

The team, made up of Senior VCAL students Jemma Finning and Oscar Boland, and Intermediate students Jonathon Short, Andrew Costa and Kurtley Berry, designed and enviro starter kit aimed at providing a bee-friendly environment; the end result being harvestable seeds for commercial sale.

Kaysee Gray of Bendigo Tech School said students should be really proud of the work they submitted during a testing year.

“I loved the level of optimism in your entry,” she told the students. “We were really excited to work with you on the project.”

Karen Green praised her students for their commitment to the project, balancing remote learning with their work on the project.

“You were able to meet deadlines and improve your problem-solving skills at the same time,” she said. “You’ll be able to build on those time-management skills in years to come.”

Bendigo Tech School Director, Graeme Wiggins agreed.

The most in demand employability skills at the moment are collaboration, communication and literacy/numeracy,” he said. “When you’re applying for jobs in the future make sure you mention your work on this project.”

The students will now move onto the Online State Pitch Final in November, where they will pitch their design to a judging panel comprising experts from CSIRO, Tech Schools and Telstra.

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