Ilford Public School is one of the smallest schools in Australia with only 15 students, but it has proven that size is no obstacle to success.
Four Ilford students, Natasha Murphy, Wyatt Besant, Bentley Robinson and Anthony Farrugia, along with teacher Liz Hooper earned a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Sydney after coding their own video game and earning a top-10 spot in a science and technology competition against more than 500 schools from across Australia.
The contest required students to design a game that taught a scientific concept. The students wanted their peers to understand what it is like as a spider, being in the middle of the food chain. The game required hiding from predators like magpies and catching prey like bugs. The students designed and coded the game and put it in the running for votes against hundreds of other Aussie schools.
With the odds against them, the school community rallied together and received the most votes of the 500 schools, including schools with thousands of students.
Ten schools were selected to be flown to Sydney to participate in a gala day at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) along with tech and education company Arludo. Arludo is an Australian company that creates video games to engage and inspire students to help them understand and use science in their lives.
The four giddy students along with Ms Hooper travelled to Sydney. There they were invited to speak with professional game designers about their ideas and their coding questions and visited the museum of human diseases with a tour explaining the preserved organs and what diseases they could see.
At an evening gala events, students could beta test new games to learn more about game production, they met Gemma from the ABC television show Good Game Spawn Point, they got to socialise with students from the other winning schools.