Designed to make a difference

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27 March 2024

Top Designs 2024 opened this week at Melbourne Museum, showcasing the exceptional work of students who completed VCE Media, Product Design and Technology, Systems Engineering, Theatre Studies or Visual Communication Design, or VCE VET Creative and Digital Media, Engineering Studies, Furnishing, Integrated Technologies or Music Industry (Sound Production) in 2023.

Seven students from Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) schools have their work exhibited in Top Designs: Two exhibitors have put their learning in technology and design-thinking to use in making a positive difference.

Christopher Batras’ work, the Affordable Lightweight Multiarticulate Myoelectric Prosthetic Arm (ALMMPA), was ‘driven by a clear vision: to bridge the gap between affordability and cutting-edge technology, making advanced functionality accessible to all’.

Cooper Smith’s model holiday home ‘really integrate[s] the environment within [the] actual build itself … it is very sustainable accommodation and affordable for all income levels’.

The Top Designs 2024 hybrid exhibition is presented both on site at Melbourne Museum and online through the web hub.

The exhibition is open until Sunday 14 July 2024, with tickets available from the Melbourne Museum website.

MACS’ showcase of student work, STEM MAD, promotes STEM learning initiatives that address real-world problems and demonstrate how students in Catholic schools take action that matters. Student teams are invited to design a product, service or innovation to ‘make a difference’ (MAD) to others or the environment.

At last year’s STEM MAD Showcase, Executive Director of MACS, Dr Edward Simons, reflected: ‘Each one of the projects that I’ve seen is designed to help others, and to help the natural world and the natural environment – and that’s extraordinary. So, what we’ve got in this room are hundreds of students answering the call Pope Francis gave in Laudato Si’ to make a difference.’

Schools have the opportunity to submit projects for this year’s Showcase until Friday 9 August 2024. Those selected will present their work on Tuesday 10 September 2024 at the Catholic Leadership Centre.
‘Affordable Lightweight Multiarticulate Myoelectric Prosthetic Arm’ by Christopher Batras
‘Affordable Lightweight Multiarticulate Myoelectric Prosthetic Arm’ by Christopher Batras;
photo: Nicole Cleary, courtesy of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.