News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Showpo’s colour changing dress is not real, but it may be the future…

Showpo’s colour changing dress gained a lot of attention from the fashion and tech world alike last week, but all the while Jane Lu, the cofounder of Showpo, remained tight lipped on the mechanics of the dress, leaving people scratching their heads and wondering how it all worked.

Today Lu wrote on a Facebook post that she had been inundated with people pre-ordering the dress and wanting to know when they could expect shipment. While people literally went crazy for this dress, unfortunately today Showpo revealed that the dress is in fact not real, but it may be the future.

The dress was part of a campaign, created through a joint partnership between Samsung and Questacon, to close the growing STEM gap in Australia. Together with a list of tech leaders and well-known Australian personalities, Samsung and Questacon have launched a new initiative called Creators Wanted. The initiative is an educational resource designed to show students how skills in STEM are becoming increasingly relevant across all industries and future career paths.

Creators Wanted has been launched across Australia through the release of video content, and the conceptualisation of future ideas, developed by global advertising agency Leo Burnett. These videos aimed to capture the attention of students and drive uptake of STEM subjects at Australian schools and universities.

To date, the videos have received over 14 million views and the campaign has looked to focus on the millennial market in showing students the opportunities of technology and the benefits of learning tech skills both inside and outside of school.

“STEM goes beyond science, technology, engineering and mathematics, by inspiring design-thinking and encouraging the development of a practical skillset, opening students up to a variety of career options. In my experience, the problem-solving and hands-on skills I learnt from engaging in STEM subjects have been integral in my journey of growing Showpo to the thriving business it is today,” said Jane Lu, Founder of Showpo.

Along with Jane Lu, Reynold Poernomo, 2015 MasterChef contestant, was also a part of Creators Wanted, creating a video around cooking edible 3D printed croquembouche.

“While I don’t work in a traditional STEM-oriented career, I see the skills I learnt in these subjects come through in my everyday work. Whether it be the building blocks of my desserts, or the chemistry behind the best recipe, STEM is everywhere,” said Poernomo.

Charlotte Caslick, Olympic gold medallist and Australian Rugby Sevens player was a part of the third video promo, where she tested out a self-retrieving ball.

“To tackle the competition we look for every advantage we can get. From the science behind our training program, to the technology we use to enhance our performance on the field, we use STEM on a daily basis. The problem solving and practical skills gained from engaging in STEM subjects at school, empower young athletes to take their game to the next level,” said Caslick.

Creators Wanted has been targeting students over the last week to show them what the future could look like if more people invest in tech and learn STEM skills at a senior level.

“We know that 44 per cent of all jobs in Australia are likely to be automated in the next 20 years, yet Australian students remain passive towards STEM subjects. One of the reasons for this is that there is no clear indication of the variety of work opportunities STEM skills can lead to,” said Tess Ariotti, Samsung corporate social responsibility manager.

“Therefore, given that 75 per cent of Australia’s fast growing occupations require STEM skills, we believe helping to educate students about the potential of these skills through campaigns such as Creators Wanted, is crucial to building a workforce for the future.”

Along with the celebrity videos, Creators Wanted has also launched a website to help support students in their selection of high-school subjects and university courses to provide insights on the job possibilities associated with STEM skills.

“It’s vital that young people see that studies in STEM subjects provide key skills that are valued across varied careers. So far, the combination of the Creators Wanted videos and website has proved extremely successful in capturing the attention of students across Australia,” said Professor Graham Durant, Director of Questacon.

The Creators Wanted initiative forms part of Samsung Electronics Australia’s Corporate Social Responsibility portfolio, which primarily focuses on bridging socio-economic, cultural and academic divides between students and STEM education.

Image: Showpo’s Live Facebook Video. Source: Supplied.

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