Younger minds take on challenge of solving future water security issues

Posted 30 March 2017

StudentsNearly 1600 students have proposed solutions to future water security issues as part of the World Science Festival's Future BNE Challenge in Brisbane

"Knowing how they impact water, how they use it and why it's important is essential for being able to be sure that we have clean, safe water supplies in the future," said Kids Teaching Kids Education Manager Ally Borgelt.

"We want to increase the kids' understanding of water and [how] they impact it, as well as developing leadership skills in the students.”

Students were challenged to use recycled materials to create a model of how they would tackle rising sea levels, given NASA’s recent discovery that sea levels are set to rise at least 90cm in the coming years. 

"We pitched to them that they're the Brisbane Year 2100 response team and they've got to gather evidence and design solutions for future water security," said Challenge Creator Tristan Schultz.

Schultz, whose company Relative Creative collaborated with the festival, wanted to equip students to think about the kinds of challenges that society might face in the future

"It really opens up their minds and gets them thinking about designing things for the long term and dealing with future challenges," he said.

For example, students from Brisbane’s Mt Alvernia College built high-rise apartment buildings and made boats the main form of transport. 

"Some of the islands will go underwater, so capital cities like Brisbane have been really populated and there's not much room for houses anymore," 12-year-old challenger Lucinda said. 

The winning team will attend the Kids Teaching Kids Water Conference in Melbourne later this year and present their solutions.