Hillcrest students use IoT Tech to improve sustainability

Published: March 30th, 2022

Students from Hillcrest Christian College in Queensland under the expert guidance of the City of Gold Coast, Griffith University, NNNCo and local tech company IoT, are using cutting-edge and recycled technologies to create a better ecosystem and awareness.


The joint project, conducted through the State Government-funded ICT Gateway to Industry School Program (ICT GISP), partners with experts from the City’s Catchment Management and Smart City teams and Griffith University researchers, Gold Coast company IoT and LoRaWAN® network provider NNNCo to monitor their campus environment and improve biodiversity through the Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

IoT connects hardware like sensors, cameras and counters to a Wi-Fi or cellular network to gather data across a location and display it on an online portal. This data can be used to track changes in temperature and water quality or show when and for how long people use facilities. The Gold Coast has been a pioneer in large-scale Internet of Things applications since 2019 and NNNCo has deployed a LoRaWAN® network throughout the Gold Coast covering more than 1,300 square km.

Students are able to use this technology to monitor their local College environment and make comparisons to other local data sources. Through the monitoring of the pond and the creation of digital solutions to improve water quality and biodiversity, Hillcrest students will be learning an array of concepts found in the Middle Learning curriculum including science, math and civics such as the responsibility of individuals, government and industry around sustainability and water management.

The data collected from the monitoring system will be utilised throughout the Middle (Years 5-8) and Senior (Years 9-12) year levels and curriculum areas.
Students were able to engage with the local council and industry to gain a better understanding of this project along with a broader context.

‘Our teachers and students are looking forward to learning about the water quality and diversity of our school and being involved in using data and technology to make our environment even more beautiful. We thank the City of Gold Coast for leading this joint project.’

Shawn Skinner, Hillcrest Christian College, MLC Learning & Alignment – Global

‘Tech industry-led projects are authentic and effective ways for students to learn with and about technology and understand how it is applied in the workplace. This in turn promotes the skills and knowledge used in tech roles, inspiring students to consider a career in technology. The City of Gold Coast has extensive Smart City initiatives, through which a wide range of Digital Curriculum concepts can be covered.’

Matthew Jorgensen, Australian Computer Society’s ICT Gateway to Industry Schools Program Project manager.


Follow the progress on the Hillcrest’s Lake Sustainability Collaboration Project Blog: https://bit.ly/HCC_lakeproject

Link to the launch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lXGfPOENfw

Guests and Presenters:

Hillcrest Christian College is an independent, co-educational school with 1,650 students from Pre-Kindy – Year 12 located in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Hillcrest Christian College is passionate about educational innovation and changing the landscape of conventional schooling. Australia’s Gold Coast is a leading tourism, business, and events city, offering one of the best lifestyles in the world. Situated in the south-east corner of the state of Queensland, the Gold Coast stretches along 57 kilometres of coastline, fringed by natural bushland and is home to a million people. www.hillcrest.qld.edu.au

IoT specialises in The Internet of Things, connecting people, business, enterprise and government. Our vision is to design, build, connect, and manage smart homes that connect to environmentally sustainable smart cities of the future. 

NNNCo (National Narrowband Network Co): NNNCo is Australia’s leading LoRaWAN® network carrier, and a 100% IoT telco, providing a shared, scalable Internet of Things (IoT) network service and platform, using LoRaWAN® technology to enable enterprise-grade IoT solutions for businesses and government, using any device, any network, and any platform. www.nnnco.com.au

Dr Jarrod Trevathan (Griffith University) is an expert in affordable environmental monitoring technologies and e-commerce security and fraud algorithms.  His current particular area is cost-effective technologies for water quality assessment and flood monitoring. Dr Jarrod Trevathan lectures at the Griffith University, School of Information and Communication Technology.

The Information and Communications Technology Gateway to Industry Schools program (ICT GISP) encourages partnerships between industry, government, schools and their communities to build Queensland’s future information technology workforce. The program provides an important opportunity to address the significant shortfall of young, emerging ICT talent in Queensland. The Gateway to Industry Schools program is funded and supported by the Queensland Government.

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the professional association for Australia’s technology sector. More than 50,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. ACS exists to create the environment and provide opportunities for members and partners to succeed. ACS strives for technology professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on technology and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.


Media contact:

Hillcrest Christian College Media Contact: Andrew Cockburn: acockburn@hillcrest.qld.edu.au, or +61 450 868 655