Projects

Grok Academy undertakes joint projects with Industry and Government partners. Each project has a particular theme and incorporates real-life industry-relevant topics to support the implementation of Digital Technologies in the classroom. This section highlights a selection of significant projects that Grok Academy undertook during the FY 20-21.

Kids doing a challenge
Digital challenge blockly logo

Digital Technologies Challenges
(2017–2021)

Project Leads: Dr. James Curran (2017-2018), Dr. Karsten Schulz (2019–2021)

In March 2021, Grok Academy successfully completed the four year, $10m DT Challenges project. The project was funded by the Australian Commonwealth Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. The project achieved:

  • A reach of over 250,000 students (40% male, 34% female, 26% unknown/ other), including an estimated 10,000 indigenous students,
  • 530,000 student course enrolments,
  • Engagement with 9,000 teachers.

The project was over-proportionally successful in remote and outer regional areas. It released over 65 resources and conducted over 150 teacher professional development events and webinars.

Cyber Challenges (Since 2019)

Project Leads: Sujatha Gunja (AU), Bruce Fuda (NZ)

The Cyber Challenges is an industry/ government partnership designed to provide school teachers with resources to support the teaching of cyber security concepts, and to inform students of career opportunities in the field. This is achieved primarily through the development of a series of classroom activities — courses delivered through the Grok Learning platform that focus on specific topics linked to the Australian Curriculum.

The Cyber Challenges have been running since early 2019. In the 2020/21 fiscal year, 66,065 unique students newly enrolled in the Cyber Challenges. The total number of student course enrolments was 91,197. 1,551 teachers and 1,541 schools participated in the Cyber Challenges. Participation refers to teacher or student enrolments, or the opening or submission of a classroom activity problem by teachers or students. The Cyber Challenges originally started in Australia and are presently in the process of branching out. The initial target countries are New Zealand and Singapore where industry consortium-forming activities have commenced as well as outreach to government departments and pilot activities to engage with the local education systems.

Kids doing a challenge
Cyber challenge cyber logo
cyber challenge cyber challenge
cyber challenge

NCSS Challenge (Since 2005)

Project Lead: Jane Abrams

The NCSS Challenge is a bi-annual programming competition open to all school students and teachers. For a period of five weeks, Grok Academy releases notes and problems containing the information students need to complete the week’s programming classroom activities. In the 2020-21 fiscal year, 20,944 unique students were newly enrolled in the NCSS Challenge. The total number of student course enrolments was 38,696. 795 teachers and 836 schools participated in the NCSS Challenge. Participation refers to teacher or student enrolments, or the opening or submission of a classroom activity problem by teachers or students.

NCSS challenge
NCSS challenge
Web comp example
Web comp example
Web.comp logo

Web.Comp (Since 2015)

Project Lead: Jane Abrams

Web.Comp is a web design competition for school students in which they learn to build a website Web.Comp 2021 has two components: Learn is a 4-week series of classroom activities where students learn as they go along. Each week, Grok Academy releases interactive notes with the information students will need to complete the week’s web design classroom activities. Students earn points for completing problems and claim a place on the leaderboard – participants will receive certificates for their results in this competition. Tournament is a week-long competition where students can design their own web pages and submit their creations to compete against other students’ designs. They can also vote for their favourites. During the 2020-21 fiscal year, 7,775 unique students were newly enrolled in Web Comp. The total number of student course enrolments was 11,654. 414 teachers and 668 schools participated in Web Comp. Participation refers to teacher or student enrolments, or the opening or submission of a classroom activity problem by teachers or students.

Fridge Lab

Quantum Challenges (2021–2022)

Project Lead: Dr. Karsten Schulz

The Quantum Challenges are an initiative by Grok Academy, Telstra, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Silicon Quantum Computing. Its objective is the development of an intro-level classroom activity on Quantum computing for year 9+10 students to excite teachers and students about the opportunities in Quantum Computing and for students to consider a career in this field. The classroom activity extensively connects with school STEM topics to demonstrate the link between STEM and computing. The project is currently in the process of developing its first challenge with an intended release date of September 2022.

Quantum challenge
Automation challenge automation logo

Automation Challenges (2020–2024)

Project Lead: Owen Brasier

The Automation Challenges project is an industry/government partnership designed to provide school teachers with resources to support the teaching of digital technologies concepts, specifically automation and data science, using real-world industry examples from the resources/mining sector. The Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA is the principal partner. Funding and collaboration partners include:

  • BHP
  • Chevron
  • CITIC Pacific Mining
  • FMG
  • Rio Tinto
  • Roy Hill
  • Woodside
  • Yara Pilbara

The project is being delivered through a series of phases, with each introducing different year levels to automation and data science. The target audience are school students in foundation to year 10, with varying degrees of technical experience as well as their teachers. The rollout of the project is presently limited to students in the Pilbara Region.

DT Applied (2021–2023)

Project Lead: Jane Abrams

The Digital Technologies (DT) Applied project is funded by Accenture, Amazon Web Service, Commonwealth Bank and Telstra. It is designed to provide school teachers with resources to support the teaching of relevant DT skills and dispositions, and to inform students of career opportunities in the technology sector. Working with industry partners, the project is pursuing four skills/dispositions which are in demand in the workplace and have links to the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies.This project will involve the development of a series of four classroom activities — courses delivered through the Grok Academy platform and/or unplugged materials: A UX, a Data Analytics, a Cloud Computing, and Design Thinking Mix-In classroom activities. The first release is expected by the end of the FY2021/22.

Thank you to our partners and sponsors


School cyber security challenges
ANZ logo Australian Signals Directorate logo Department of industry, science, energy and resources logo AWS logo BT logo Commonwealth bank logo Fifth domain logo NAB logo Westpack logo


Cyber Skills Aotearoa
ASB logo AWS logo BNZ logo Cert NZ logo Ministry of Education logo N4L logo Netsafe logo New Zealand Government logo NCSC Logo
Automation challenges
CME logo BHP logo Chevron human energy logo Citic pacific mining logo Fortescue logo Rio Tinto logo Roy hill logo Woodside logo Knowledge grows
National Computer Science School
Wisetech global logo Atlassian logo ASD logo Macquarie logo Commonwealth bank logo Dolby logo NAB logo Optiver logo Swyftx logo

Quantum Computing Challenges

Commonwealth bank logo Silicon quantum computing logo Telstra logo

DT Applied

accenture logo aws logo Commonwealth bank logo Telstra logo