Students aiming to make the world a better place

Home > News and Events > Media Releases > 2021 > Students aiming to make the world a better place

16 November 2021

State finalists from 22 Catholic schools around the country came together virtually today for the inaugural science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) national student showcase – STEM MAD (Making a Difference) – and showed they are prepared to push the boundaries to solve problems for the future.

Themed ‘Learning from the past to build a better future’, the event challenged students to present solutions designed to make a difference by addressing a service, product or the environment through the lens of Catholic stewardship, solidarity, common good, citizenship, humanity and wellbeing.

Judges considered design process, innovative application of scientific and mathematical concepts, engineering and communication principles, and the distinction of making a difference in the world by acting for justice and the common good. Students needed to have a working model or digital prototype to be accepted for the showcase.

Major award winners announced today were:

  • STEM MAD National – Primary Schools Award
    St John’s Catholic School, Richmond, Tasmania
    ‘Capaci Carbon Scrubber’

  • STEM MAD National – Secondary Schools Award
    St Eugene College, Burpengary, Queensland
    ‘Beach Mate’

  • STEM MAD National – Future Is STEM Primary Schools Award
    St Vincent’s Primary School, Clear Island Waters, Queensland
    ‘Vision Buddy’

  • STEM MAD National – Future Is STEM Secondary Schools Award
    Magdalene Catholic College, Narellan, New South Wales
    ‘CLT Eco Office’.

Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) Acting Executive Director Paul Sharkey said Catholic schools aim to not only be innovative and leaders in teaching and learning, but also to make a positive difference in the world.

‘What better way to bring this philosophy to life than by challenging students to address real-world science and engineering problems in a way that also acts for justice and the common good’, Dr Sharkey said.

‘I congratulate all of the students and staff involved in today’s showcase. The depth of thought, creativity and compassion on show provides confidence that the world is in good hands for the future.

‘We are pleased to coordinate this showcase opportunity for Catholic schools from around the country.’

To take part in STEM MAD National, primary and secondary student teams participated in their own diocesan or statewide STEM showcases, with each diocese invited to nominate up to three projects per category which best demonstrate their learning and meet the criteria.

The event was made possible with the generous support of Catholic Network Australia (CNA).

Visit the STEM MAD National website for more information and details of the awards.

Media contact: Gerard Delaney on 0413 274 176 or

Download PDF