Across Australia, industry leaders have continually expressed major concern that STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) uptake by the country’s students is falling short of what will be necessary to fill the future need for these skills.
Mathematics is in a “death spiral,” with only one in ten students studying advanced maths. Similarly, science and engineering are facing declines.
As flag bearers for innovation, Samsung has a natural role to play in supporting innovative thinking in Australia. How could we do this in a meaningful way?
If Samsung was to make a lasting contribution to innovation in Australia, it had to change how young people perceived and engaged with STEM. This would include encouraging them to see technology as relevant to them and as a tool for solving modern day challenges.
To achieve this, we had to ignite the imaginations of young Australians.
Instead of taking a textbook approach, Samsung needed to promote creativity, problem solving, entrepreneurship and real-world learning as a gateway into engagement with STEM.
Samsung Adappt – a community program that encourages young people to design apps for social good. In doing so, we would help build their STEM skills, while helping to see the discipline as a relevant tool to help solve the challenges of the modern world.
The Samsung Adappt program targeted young Australians (aged 12-25 years) and invited them to put forward ideas for apps for a better world, inspiring innovative thinking about topics and themes that mattered most to them.
To help encourage ideas in the launch year, we assisted Samsung and program partner the Foundation for Young Australians launch ‘Adappt Academy’, a seven-part video tutorial series, available online, to help educate participants on the app development process – from ideation, human-centred design, through to pitching their idea.
To enter, participants could simply draw their idea with pen and paper and submit it via the Samsung Adappt online platform. The winning teams won a trip to the Samsung Adappt Bootcamp where they received training in app development and worked with developers to see their ideas turned into digital prototypes.
To spread word of the competition and drive submissions, we executed a comprehensive media strategy that took place through earned, owned and social media.
Samsung Adappt enabled Samsung to engage priority stakeholders and demonstrate its commitment to Australia. It activated hundreds of young Australians to create and submit their own idea for an app for social good.
In the first year, the program achieved the following results:
• Over a million young people engaged via face-to-face events or online.
• We exceeded our app submission goal, with more than 260 app ideas entered by young Australians. Submissions achieved from across the country – from remote Mornington Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, to Bathurst and Melbourne.
• Total potential coverage reach of nearly 1.5 million, across broadcast, print and online media.
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