Artist in Residence Program: Jump Start at Pimpama State Secondary College

The Artist in Residence program (AIR) invests in creative collaborations between professional artists and Queensland schools, including Queensland Government-approved kindergarten program providers.

Pimpama State Secondary College, in partnership with Tom Allen of Seven Positive, have successfully applied for AIR funding to design and deliver the Jump Start project to empower young people to positively impact the world through visual art, craft and design-led creativity and entrepreneurial endeavours.

As a school, every day we ask ourselves; “How might we be a school that builds students up with the skills and knowledge so they can thrive in the 21st Century?”

To help us achieve this, we have identified skills we feel our students would need to thrive in the 21st Century:

  • can self-manage
  • are confident to take risks
  • feel comfortable to fail and learn from failure
  • are curious
  • are good communicators and collaborators


The Project

The recent StartupAUS Crossroads report highlighted the urgent demand and need to implement entrepreneurship programs within the Australian education system in response to the disproportionate emphasis placed on only preparing students for the workforce.

Introducing entrepreneurship education across the primary, secondary and tertiary education system would equip young people to start businesses and spur economic growth[1] 

The Jump Start project is a creative, open-ended residency targeted at young people aged 15 years and over and will support young people to:

  • identify research and respond to problems and opportunities by applying a human centred design thinking process
  • creatively start enterprises to positively impact their communities
  • experience both challenges and success through engaged, thoughtful and socially responsible enterprise activities
  • build design, business and leadership skills which will bring both short and long term benefits to both the individual and community
  • recognise that entrepreneurship, proactivity and initiative are some of the most powerful ways to make a positive difference in the world
  • design their own future

Our Entrepreneur in Residence, Tom Allen will work with our young people to capitalise on the outcomes of the 2013 Artist in Residence (Designer in Residence) project; further ideating, iterating and enhancing creative output, contributing to local economies and leveraging community engagement.

During the project, Tom will design and deliver open-ended, innovative and dynamic curriculum to encourage and support risk-taking, creative problem-defining/solving, creative output and socially/environmentally responsible creative enterprise activity. Through a range of exercises, students will undertake research into problems and areas that could benefit from creative innovation. They will respond to this research with a series of creative concepts, learning how best to refine, develop and improve outcomes.

Our young people will follow proven design processes, learning both divergent and convergent thinking skills which allow them to conceptualise, refine and develop designs which challenge them to best respond to both school and community needs.

Students will undertake best practice for rapid prototyping concepts, effective teamwork, time management and other collaborative skills. This creative experience will provide valuable insights and practical knowledge to both students and attending educators about creative entrepreneurial practice. It will encompass a broad range of skills and strategy tools used by entrepreneurs when starting a successful and creative enterprise.

Throughout the project, students will be mentored, supported and challenged by industry and tertiary professionals. Students will have the opportunity to work with educators, experts and professionals from:

  • Seven Positive (VII+): an Australian strategic design consultancy committed to providing design thinking tools, business strategy and initiative to drive forward social innovation
  • Pozible: an Australian crowd funding platform and community-building tool for creative projects and ideas

  • The Cube, QUT: one of the world’s largest digital interactive learning and display spaces dedicated to providing inspiring, explorative and participatory experience of QUT’s Science and Engineering research
  • The Asia Pacific Design Library: a shared space for industry, academia and the public to come together in the generation of new knowledge around design in the Asia Pacific

AIR is a natural fit for us. It helps promote to our students and the wider community the role and value of arts-led learning and partnerships across the whole learning curriculum. It plays a transformative and catalytic role in creating healthy, cohesive communities and drives creative solutions to challenges of our time.

AIR is a three year partnership (2013 – 2015) between the Australia Council for the Arts and the Queensland Government (Arts Queensland in the Department Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts and Department of Education, Training and Employment).


The above article was originally published on the APDL's Design Minds Blog.