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Genazzano’s Girls Invent program brings business’ to life

17 Jul 2019

Genazzano FCJ College strives to provide girls with plenty of opportunity to grow, develop and excel.

A unique entrepreneurial program called Girls Invent, for Year 9 students, is designed to achieve just that.

Students are challenged to bring a business or social enterprise idea to life using 21st century skills.

Year 9 boarder Erin Wallis, from Moyhu near Wangaratta, embraced the program with enthusiasm. With a desire to create something to benefit her community, Erin invented the Bebida Bowl, a pet’s water bowl that alerts owners when it is empty.

Erin spent weeks researching animal health issues and possible solutions, before coming up with the idea for her Bebida Bowl. An app connected to the bowl helps owners avoid the risk of dehydration of their animal, or even death.

“I didn’t realise how much work was involved when inventing a product,” Erin said. “There’s the legal aspects, including patents, as well as understanding your market.”

The college believes learning should be engaging, challenging, interesting and, above all, fun. Students are encouraged to allow their passion for learning develop at every opportunity. Another Year 9 boarder, Georgia Buckle, from Cobden, participated in the Personal Project program in partnership with Deakin University.

Georgia researched the Great Ocean Road region and its local businesses to create a Great Ocean Road cookbook. The book includes recipes that showcase local produce from regional businesses.

Georgia also delved into the history of the region and discovered many local produce businesses that she believed would benefit from further promotion. Being a boarder at Genazzano has also provided Erin and Georgia the opportunity to educate their peers about their home towns. Both girls started at the college this year.

“Everyone is like a sister to me,” Georgia said. “I just love the opportunities that are available to me to explore at school and then the wonderful environment back at the boarding house at the end of the day.”

Article originally posted in The Weekly Times on 17 July 2019