High Schools Week Long Experience
The illuminate Challenge is the flagship program of illuminate Education Australia, taking students through a five-day innovation process. Teams begin by developing their understanding of a relevant community issue and define a problem they see, they then creatively explore and refine possible solutions, develop business models for sustained impact as well as marketing materials and financials, and finally teams present the idea for investment with a prototype of their solution.
Our programs provide an opportunity for students to develop a core set of life skills that they can use from the very first day of the program to the rest of their life.
Teacher’s Perspectives on the Challenge
To find out more about the impact of the illuminate Challenge from the perspectives of teachers, here is a video with teachers from an illuminate Challenge hosted on the Central Coast of New South Wales at the University of Newcastle.
Underneath the week-long program structure that is the illuminate Challenge, illuminate Education Australia has developed specialised programs that are adapted to best suit the outcomes of the community and those involved.
Based on the model of the illuminate Challenge that has been delivered for over ten years, the illuminate Enterprise Challenge focuses on how students can explore challenges in their community and overcome them with business models that create sustained change. Across the five days, students are introduced business concepts such as the 4Ps of marketing, profit and loss statements and business cases, creating a deep understanding of these principles and how they can be applied to outline their solution with clarity.
This style of challenge is perfect for all students, especially those exploring business, employment opportunities and creating community impact through business.
To build aspiration and connection to the community, the illuminate Community Challenge model builds on the problem solving framework above, where teams deepen their understanding of community values and then looks to come up with projects, campaigns and businesses that increase their perception in the community. These ideas still require financial sustainability, connection to the community and strategic intent, but the community model allows for ideas to create impact in a different form, allowing for a different experience through the challenge.
This style of challenge is perfect for regional programs to support students building their understanding of the local community, and looking beyond a business model to focus on impact.
Skills for Opportunities
At illuminate Education Australia, we recognise that across our programs we cover a lot of skill groups that students greatly benefit from, and this version of the challenge gives more explicit focus on these skills. Students still complete a problem solving process to solve a challenge that is immediate to them, but there are more individual tasks that encourage reflection and self-development for all involved compared to other forms of the challenge that we run.
This style of challenge is perfect for opportunities where the skills are more critical than the finished solution or the design process itself, and is tailored to students who require more support to engage in the week-long experience.
Recognising the strength of the agriculture sector across Australia, illuminate Education Australia has modified our program to allow students to grow their knowledge and understanding of this industry field that has been co-designed with industry.
Interested in the illuminate Challenge, but not sure what type would be best suited to your students and community?
That’s fine, just click here and let’s talk more about what the challenge involves to make the right fit for your students.
In our COVID-normal work, illuminate Education Australia recognises that we need to have a variety of delivery modes to best engage with students and schools.
Face to Face Delivery
Our preferred way of running the illuminate Challenge is where we come into your school, interacting with students, teachers and the wider community throughout the week. This builds upon the learning environment we already deliver, building stronger relationships with the students to empower and engage them.
Features of Face-to-Face Delivery include having judges and mentors coming into the school to support your students, and all sessions are delivered by industry experts in the region as well as our experienced facilitators.
To allow the illuminate Challenge to still be delivered during COVID-19 restrictions, we redesigned the entire experience to suit a fully digital delivery, maximising digital technologies throughout the whole process.
Features of Digital Delivery including having judges and mentors participating using digital platforms, with the challenge able to be run on the school platforms or the ones managed by illuminate Education Australia where all data hosted is within Australia. The program is designed with short live calls, otherwise all content is either able to be downloaded in advance or text platforms can be used for those with poor internet connections.
Digital Delivery allows for students to still participate in the challenge when travel is restricted as students can complete the program in their classrooms, and where students are learning from their own homes.
With the understanding around changing restrictions and risk profiles that we face, the third model of delivery for the illuminate Challenge is our hybrid model, where our facilitators are the only people able to come into the school.
Features of Hybrid Delivery is that our facilitators still come into the school to engage and interact with your students, but all judges and mentors participate using digital platforms.
Hybrid Delivery is best suited for situations where restrictions are lifting, but there are limits on the amount of people that can come onto campus.
How We Do It
We combine design thinking, entrepreneurship, social and ethical understanding, business and personal development into every single impactful learning opportunity.
Inquiry & Research
Our Innovation Process
Across the week, students explore the innovative process designed by illuminate Education Australia, growing in their skills and confidence within themselves throughout the journey.
Stage 1 | Foundations.The first stage is about understanding the team you are working with to set a path for success, and to take time to explore a problem that your team can see that needs to be fixed.
Stage 2 | Ideation. Teams develop possible solutions to the problem in a creative and innovative way. They then refine the ideas to proritise the solution with the most substance, impact and potential.
Stage 3 | Developing. Teams turn their initial concept into a business idea that has financial forecasts, strategic plans and marketing collateral where the team works to its strengths under its own leadership.
Stage 4 | Presenting. Teams change gears from developing their idea to focusing how they communicate their solution to stakeholders for support, investment and feedback.
Stage 5 | Prototyping. Ideas are put through their paces to further develop the solution, how to handle challenges and getting more feedback from customers.
Stage 6 | Implementation. With the foundation established throughout the challenge, teams can take their idea forward and make it real. This is typically outside of the illuminate Challenge program.
“I have enrolled students in the illuminate Challenge for many years. illuminate Education Australia excels at motivating young people to become the independent learning, self-directed adults that our nation so desperately needs. Their provision of real-world learning is second to none and their programs are still talked about by students many years after they’ve left school. Best of all illuminate Education Australia’s programs target those cross-curricular priorities that are so difficult to address in the day-to-day classroom.”
– Bob Ashby, Teacher, Sheffield School (Tasmania)
“The illuminate:nextgen Challenge pushes students to extend themselves in a positive, supportive setting. It helps student to develop the real-world skills necessary for any workplace, and exposes them to study and career options. The program helps students to unlock their full potential and discover their future.”
– Brendan Taig, Careers Practitioner, Suzanne Cory High School (Victoria)
“The illuminate:nextgen challenge was, as described by one of our students at our school’s end of year awards ceremony, a life changing experience for our Year 10 students. The week created such a positive vibe amongst those doing the challenge and indeed, throughout the entire school, and students from all years seemed to be taking an active interest. I really do believe that this challenge, and the skills that were developed by students, will have a lasting impact on them, not only for success in Year 11 and 12, but also post-school education and in their working lives.”
– Dale Massie, HSIE Teacher, Terrigal High School (New South Wales)
“The Illuminate Challenge was astonishing. I truly didn’t expect the quality of ideas and presentations that the students delivered. It was clear to me that illuminate are building capability, and improving the confidence and career prospects of these students. I’m hoping to become more involved because I can see the value Illuminate adds to both the students, industry and the broader community.”
– Ellen Piper, People, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation
“There is no finer task than to encourage and support our youth in their journey of learning. Having experienced first hand the illuminate Education Australia experience myself in a supporting role at Charles Sturt University, I was inspired by the energy that the young participants had in the skills of problem solving, vision creation and entrepreneurial strategies. Programs such as illuminate no doubt are an excellent tool as part of the preparation for life after school. I would encourage students and teachers to explore the opportunities that the illuminate Education programme offers.”
– Peta Pinson, Mayor, Port Macquarie Hasting Council
“In this rapidly changing world with the rise of emerging economies and onset of digital disruption, programs like the illuminate Challenge are absolutely critical to regional communities. Rather than seeing change as a threat, illuminate Education Australia opens the eyes of our young people to the opportunities that change presents.”
– Tim Watson, General Manager, Dorset Council
“Technical capabilities are the necessary, but not sufficient attributes for people hired into my organisation. The best candidates complement their technical capability with emotional intelligence along with the skills taught by Illuminate Education Australia. Working at today’s speed of business requires employees to bring more to the workplace. Creativity, a willingness to collaborate, natural curiosity and the ability to contribute to effective teamwork are key characteristics of tomorrow’s high performing leaders”
– Mike Faulkner, Managing Director (Australia & New Zealand), Verizon Enterprise Solutions
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