Students soar in Superhumans program

​It’s official - Monash Tech School opens

Forget Tigers versus Crows - are you on Team Heart or Team Kidney?

Students taking part in the Superhumans program at the Monash Tech School, which officially opened earlier this month, form a 'team' to focus on the heart, kidney, hand or eye, and design basic prototypes of smart devices to help sick, injured, disabled or elderly people.

Wellington Secondary College Year 7 student Yvonne Le presented her Team Heart prototype at the official opening event at the Monash Tech School’s temporary site at Federation Training in Chadstone. The device was designed to replace a faulty heart valve.

'It was fun to work in a team. We had a few arguments!' she says. 'But we started with a Lego prototype and ended up with a 3-D printed version.'

The Monash Tech School is one of 10 Tech Schools being established across the state under the $128 million Education State initiative. These shared high-tech hubs offer innovative, hands-on learning programs developed with industry partners and focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Yvonne’s team’s prototype is just one of a suite already produced by students from partner secondary schools who completed the three-day Superhumans program, which has been running since August 2017.

Design Thinking

Superhumans is considered design thinking - a creative problem-solving technique that encourages wild ideas and the freedom to fail.

On the first day, students use case studies and props to empathise with the people they’re setting out to help (perhaps an injured athlete or an older person with arthritis) then brainstorm ways smart medical devices, such as implants and bionics, might provide benefits.

It’s straight into prototyping on the second day. Students can use electronics, microscopes, 3-D printers, laser cutter, milling machine, thermal cameras and materials library to investigate the best materials and technology for their device.

On the final day, each team presents their prototype to the other teams.

Students soar into Superhumans programs

Now the Monash Tech School is open, says Director Ashley Van Krieken, staff will ramp up the development of programs for other year levels.

Year 8s have the Superpowers program to look forward to, where they’ll learn about sustainable and alternative energy and fuel, as well as energy grids.

The Superhealth program will have Year 9 students examine superbugs, superdrugs and superfoods and investigate ways to solve population health risks.

And Year 10 students will be faced with the Superproblems program, which will harness design thinking skills to solve issues presented by the Monash Tech School’s industry partners.

For more information about Tech Schools, see: