Butchers paper, check. A rainbow of coloured textas, check. 4” tall tech-inventors, double check.

We asked 18 kids from Carlton North Primary School to design the robots of the future.

What they imagined, put simply, knocked the smartphones out of our hands.

A medical robot with defibrillator hands to restart failing hearts. A turtle-shaped robot that cleans oceans as it glides on top of waves and into the depth of the sea. And a robot designed with painstaking precision for kids with disabilities – a hairbrush for one hand, a toothbrush for another, and a belly that shoots hamburgers into your mouth. Perfect. Where can we order one?

At Telstra, we want to inspire young people to be more curious about the digital world and their potential to shape it. Having digital skills and access to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) based learning at an early age is key to this. That’s why we encourage Telstra Kids applications for digital projects – we want young people to thrive in the digital world.

Recently, five Telstra employees have given STEAM education a big boost in their local community by securing $6,000 in Telstra Kids grants for Carlton North primary school’s new STEAM program. Funding that Principal Rachel Corben says will go to purchasing state-of-art technology equipment to ensure her students become creators of digital technology, not just consumers.

Congratulations also to the 450+ Telstra employees who secured Telstra Kids grants for their school or community group this month – sharing in $500,000 of funding. Powered by the Telstra Foundation, Telstra Kids gives a million dollars in grants to local community groups that help kids to play and learn – from digital making activities to cyber-safety programs. We’ve seen a big increase this year in digital projects focused on building STEAM skills for kids – just like Carlton North. In the past 15 years, Telstra Kids has invested more than $10 million into 8,000 projects across Australia.

Learn more about Telstra Kids here.

You can read the video transcript here.