Newcastle students will have the chance to take part in online workshops next month, learning about sustainability and innovation for the city’s future.

The City of Newcastle Sustainnovation Challenge is set to connect students with industry and community in a pair of two-day workshops, exploring solutions to issues such ageing communities, plastic waste, and smarter living.

Students from nine secondary schools will take part, including Newcastle High, Lambton High, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, West Wallsend High, Merewether High, St. Philip’s Christian College, Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College, and Big Picture Education Cooks Hill Campus.

Project Director Duncan Burck says it’s a first-of-a-kind learning experience for young people with the potential for “showcasing potential career pathways”.

“You’ve got to go through a sort of journey of discovery, because the key thing in innovation isn’t so much how you make something work, it’s how you really get in and understand the problem and get to the point of really loving the problem,” Mr Burck said.

“Once you’re at that level, you’re going to get much more creative in coming up with ideas.”

It’s hoped the ideas with the most smart city potential could be developed further and even implemented.
Mr Burck says it was great to see the City of Newcastle get behind the project. 

“From being an industrial powerhouse, to being an internationally recognised smart city,” Mr Burck said.

“The more that we can communicate with our young people, the better ideas we’re going to get as a city, and they want to see that happen, they want to see more people involved in the sort of innovation and ecosystem, starting at high school.”

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