Riverina high school powers to victory in Transgrid Discovery Pod Challenge

08 December 2023

Students at a Riverina high school are taking a leading role in educating their peers about Australia’s great renewable energy transition, developing a winning concept for an interactive Discovery Pod to be located at Transgrid’s new community engagement centre.

A team of students at Mater Dei College at Wagga Wagga has claimed top honours in Transgrid’s Discovery Pod Challenge, researching and designing the winning entry with prizes totalling more than $5,000.

Executive General Manager of Corporate & Stakeholder Affairs Maryanne Graham said: “Transgrid is actively engaging local high school students in Australia’s clean energy transition and path to net zero.

“Earlier this year we launched a challenge across high schools in the Riverina to research and design a Discovery Pod to be located at the Transgrid Discovery Hub currently being built in the old Elders building in the Wagga CBD.

“Local high school students were invited to develop a concept for a Discovery Pod exploring the key themes of energy, engineering and environment in a fun, interactive and educational way.

“Students were encouraged to think about what they experience at Canberra’s Questacon or a museum in developing their pod with interactive audio-visual technology, games, a challenge, animation, video or presentation of ideas.”

Wagga’s Mater Dei College won the competition with an entry from Year 9 students Will Wendt, Bailey Helyar and Ronejan Kassem titled “Energy – The Game”, a gamification concept designed to help children understand the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy through a series of mini-games and challenges.

In their entry the students wrote that their proposal created “immersive gaming experiences that not only entertained, but also educated children on various aspects of electricity”.

“Through interactive game play users can learn about electrical circuits, renewable energy sources and the importance of energy conservation,” the students wrote.

The winning entry will now be brought to life and put on display permanently at the Transgrid Discovery Hub. A local gaming developer will be engaged to work with the students.

The college won eight Lego robotics kits to the value of $5,000. The students on the winning team also each received a 10,000MAH power bank (compatible with laptops and phones) and a $50 Visa gift card.

Mater Dei College’s Leader of Learning - Digital Technology and STEM Courtney Freebody said: “The challenge ignited our students' creativity, prompting them to explore innovative tools for educating the wider community about energy, engineering, and the environment. Diverse student teams across year groups developed solutions that hold promise for further refinement next year. The winning group, captivated by the process of pitching their energy game, are ready to refine their ideas alongside industry experts.”

Ms Graham said she looked forward to seeing the concept become a reality and take its place in the Transgrid Discovery Hub.

“These students are taking a leading role in educating their peers about Australia’s transition to a clean energy future and I congratulate them for their creativity and bold thinking in developing their concept for an interactive Discovery Pod,” Ms Graham said.

“The new centre will include a discovery space for community members and school students to explore power generation, electricity transmission, the transition to renewables, and careers in the energy sector through visual and interactive experiences.

“Transgrid is also consulting local schools, teachers, and educational professionals to design a program of activity at the centre to support in-class learning for secondary students.”

For more information about the Transgrid Discovery Hub visit:

Media enquiries: Mark Nolan 0429 047 136