Murray Bridge High School students build ‘peace machines’ to solve world’s problems

With enough youthful energy, perhaps all the world's problems could be solved.

Murray Bridge High School's year 8 and 9 students set out to do just that on the last two days of term two, building "peace machines" designed to solve whatever problems they thought were most pressing in our society.

The broad nature of the challenge led them to a wide range of conclusions.

One of the 36 student teams said they would develop an app that would intervene whenever someone tried to send a hateful text message.

Another proposed a room where any two people could meet without judging each other, wearing masks with descriptions of the person they wanted to be on the outside and the person they truly were on the inside, and ask each other questions from a box before revealing their identities.

"Terrorism, bullying, violence, racism ... the reason all this happens is because of a lack of empathy," said student Yllery Caspillo.

"When we lack empathy, we can't express ourselves, we're too judgmental.

"(Through this idea) we're revealing the truth that hasn't been told yet."

Other ideas included a cupcake sale, with the proceeds donated to youth mental health organisation Headspace; a website which could increase understanding between religions; a video intended to address racism; a thermal imaging camera which could help authorities identify users of illegal drugs; and even a bubble gun.

The exercise was intended to improve students' "solution fluency" by asking them to define the problem, discover knowledge, dream about solutions, design and deliver them and debrief, said teacher Choo-Lee Long.

Students from other year levels voted for their favourite peace machines on Friday; the winning students will receive points towards the school's house cup.