A digital weather data and water conservation system was among six outstanding Sydney Catholic Schools projects to pick up awards at the 2022 STEM MAD Nationals.

Our award-winning schools were St Clare’s College Waverley, St Kevin’s Catholic Primary School Eastwood, Good Shepherd Catholic Primary Hoxton Park, Clancy Catholic College West Hoxton, and St Aloysius Catholic Primary School Cronulla.

St Aloysius Cronulla picked up two major awards – the STEM MAD National Award (Primary) and Best Application of Maths in Context Award (Primary) – for their digital innovative weather data and water conservation system.

The project team consists of Year 6 students Flynn Coady and Kate Middlemiss and Year 5 students Isla Whitford and Patrick Hughes.

Over the past five years the budding entrepreneurs have worked with their local council, industry experts and Sydney Water to develop a solution to prevent high salinity levels from impacting local playing fields and golf courses.

Their research included connecting via Skype with a meteorologist in the University of Oklahoma.


This project has developed over a number of years and each year the students display greater skill and understanding in developing clever solutions that ensure water use efficiency and sustainability,” Elizabeth Ovens, Principal of St Aloysius Cronulla, said.

“We believe our students make a real difference as we are working with industry professionals on real problems involving recycled water use in our local area, using our STEM skills.”


St Clare’s College Waverley Year 9 student Marianna Quintero Zuniga picked up the Best Integration of Technology Award (Secondary) for her pop up learning pod project.

Major award sponsors, SEAM (Social Enterprise Asset Management), gave their award ‘STEM for Sustainability’ to Year 9 student Mia Bartovic, also from St Clare’s. 

The award includes approximately $5000 towards mentorship, to take Mia’s Carbon Carpool Co. prototype further. The prototype is an app designed to help reduce society’s carbon footprint.


Now in its second year, STEM MAD National is a celebration of excellence in Catholic education.

Australia’s best primary, secondary and ‘Future is STEM’ student teams, nominated by their dioceses, showcase their projects to conference participants, diocesan representatives, sponsors and affiliated organisations, school communities and their fellow students. 

Schools compete to design a product, service or innovation that makes a difference (MAD) to others or the environment. 

STEM MAD National Event coordinator, Shelley Waldon, was amazed by the creativity and deep thinking of the students and the care they show for their communities.

“It gives great hope that the future is in good hands” – Shelley Waldon

Five representative students from the Stage 3 STEM Extension group at St Aloysius, along with their principal and STEM teacher, David Budgen, joined the winning teams in Melbourne to receive their awards and showcase their projects to the 1,300 delegates at the National Catholic Education Conference.

In total, 68 entries were submitted by primary and secondary school students from Sydney Catholic Schools.