Sandbox Education Program

Industry submission for Sandbox Challenge is now open for T1, T2, and T3 2021!

  • Overview
  • Student Experience
  • FAQs & Getting Involved

The Sandbox Education Program is created as a platform to connect the industry, educators and students, empowering them to co-create a career-focused learning experience through solving real-life challenges.

This multi-award-winning program simulates a professional working environment by bringing in real-world scenarios and wicked problems into the classroom, creating a safe space for students to explore, collaborate and make changes.


  • Contributing to the development of future-ready students through direct input into curriculum design and active involvement in challenge-driven education
  • Creating greater visibility and gaining direct access to bright and talented students while earning fresh perspectives and creative solutions to current problems


  • Expanding experience by working on real industry challenges with support from professionals
  • Gaining transferable skills required for success in our dynamic and evolving work environment by solving complex challenges in a collaborative setting


  • Fuelling the connection between the industry and higher education to cultivate graduates who are more work-ready
  • Developing meaningful relationships with the industry for continuous innovation in education and research

In a Sandbox, the industry partner works with the educator to:

1 Establish a meaningful challenge

The starting point of a Sandbox is the identification of a relevant, challenging task. Interested industry partners are invited to submit a Sandbox Challenge: an enticing and important problem that would benefit from a fresh perspective and would facilitate the acquisition of current knowledge.

Educators with relevant interests and expertise will review the available challenges and Adopt-a-Sandbox from the program (i.e., embed the Sandbox Challenge into an appropriate course).

2 Engage in co-creative learning

In this step we navigate students through the challenge-driven learning process. Educators work together with the industry partners to co-design teaching materials and activities to support students’ problem-solving process and provide them with an authentic learning experience.

Some common Sandbox activities include a kick-off session, industry-facilitated seminars, in-class role-playing or interview sessions, workshops and hands-on labs.

3 Enrich the career-focused experience

At the conclusion of the Sandbox, we review the solutions created by the students, provide feedback and guidance in their reflection and consolidation of learnings. This usually includes a formal session where students present their solutions to the industry partner and obtain feedback. The presented solutions can be of various forms depending on what aligns best with the Sandbox. Solution examples include a proof-of-concept, an information slide deck, a pitch, and a professional whitepaper.

The trilateral relationship developed from the Sandbox engagement will continue to grow beyond this point. Subsequent engagement can take various forms, including a longer-term mentoring program, work-shadowing and internship opportunities, attending and co-hosting relevant events and more! Some of our past Sandbox students have commenced their careers in graduate and vacationer positions at the partner organization.

Why partner with the Sandbox Education Program?

  • Engage with our best and brightest students
  • Contribute to the development of the next generation of talent and leaders, providing students with direct insights into the latest industry challenges and the skills and technologies required to solve them
  • Build ongoing relationships and collaborate with our leading academics in both education and research

Our Sandbox Partners

Our Sandbox Champions

Kevin Liu

Dr. Kevin Liu
School of Risk & Actuarial

Risk Management
Dr. Sandeep Mysore

Dr. Sandeep Mysore
School of ISTM

Design Thinking
Business Analysis
Dr. Veronica Jiang

Dr. Veronica Jiang
School of Marketing

Digital Marketing
Consumer Insights
Yenni Tim

Dr. Yenni Tim
School of ISTM

Cyber Security
Software Development

Associate Professor Pedro Isaias
School of ISTM

Data Analytics

Student Experience

Ellycia Setiadi

It has helped me realise my full potential as it allowed me to want to work in areas that I thought I wouldn’t be able to use my skills in. Being a creative person doing a degree in Information Systems, I thought my career choice would be limited to only User Experience or User Interface designer, however after participating in the sandbox program I discovered that being creative isn’t only limited to making things look pretty. Being a creative person could also mean being a person who loves turning complex problems into something simple so that others can understand it.

A student from a Sandboxed course in 2020 T1

Jae Ryu

It is common for students to be unsure in which field of work they’ll like to specialise in once they graduate, but the sandbox program adopts a hands-on approach in exposing prospective graduates an opportunity to step into the world of cyber and the nature of work they conduct on a daily basis… The program also provided me with profound networking opportunities when we partnered with EY, as students were offered an opportunity to intern over the summer break with EY’s cyber team at the duration of the course.

A student from a Sandboxed course in 2019 T1

Past Sandbox Projects

Project No 1: Training employees’ cyber senses to tingle

The Challenge

This Sandbox challenge involved students roleplaying in groups as the Head of IT Security at a large media company in Australia. The company faced some common challenges pertaining to large organisations such as a lack of security awareness among staff, ineffective controls for data leakages & lack of executive buy-in for security funding initiatives. The company also recently suffered a data breach from a social engineering attack.

Students were tasked with revitalising the company’s existing training program by re-designing their security awareness program, proposing a training session for employees specifically targeted at social engineering awareness and recommending technical controls for the protection of data.

Students’ Solutions

Over 8 weeks, students developed 18 unique security awareness programs. These programs featured gamified solutions, micro-learning education modules on mobile, interactive slide decks for face-to-face workshops and more. Technical controls proposals were also developed with feasibility analyses performed and third-party recommendations provided.

Project No 2: Uplifting defences against cyber attacks

The Challenge

This Sandbox challenge involved students conducting maturity assessments for a Superannuation company for their compliance with the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) CPS 234 regulation. CPS 234 regulation requires APRA related organisations to uplift their information security capabilities to a certain score commensurate with the evolving size and extent of threats to their assets.

Students’ Solutions

Over 8 weeks, students devised 15 unique cyber maturity uplift plans. These plans addressed CPS 234 themes like policy frameworks, implementation of controls, incident management and more. Recommendations to uplift capabilities were provided with consideration for business and regulatory drivers.

Project No 3: Secure by design enables powerful transformations

The Challenge

This Sandbox challenge involved students consulting for a large utility company seeking to undertake technology initiatives like integrating IoT devices and transitioning to the cloud to position themselves as a leading competitor in the utilities sector. To thrive in a sector that is facing an increase in cyber-attacks, the company required a plan to securely uplift their technology capabilities.

Students’ Solutions

Over 8 weeks, students devised 15 unique strategy plans. These plans utilised the secure by design methodology to ensure security is embedded within the transformation. Recommendations to securely uplift capabilities were developed with IoT and cloud vendor analysis performed. The students also considered impacts of the transformation on people, processes, and technology.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many and what kinds of students will participate in a Sandbox?

Your Sandbox Challenge will be embedded into our courses, so depending on the size of the course, you can expect to get between 50-300 students engaging in your challenge! Students typically work on a challenge in teams of 5-6, over 4-8 weeks. Students who participate in a Sandboxed course will typically be in their penultimate or final year.

Can an organisation submit more than one challenge?

Yes, you are welcome to submit more than one challenge. We also encourage organisations to submit larger-scale challenges that requires interdisciplinary effort. Such challenges can be embedded into multiple courses offered by different faculties.

What level of commitment is required from the industry partner?

Each industry partner is going to work with one of our leading academics, who is also the lecturer-in-charge of the course, to co-design some learning materials and/or activities. The exact level of engagement will be negotiated between the industry partner and the academic, but a genuine commitment from the industry partner is expected.

For more information about the Sandbox Education Program please contact

Dr. Yenni Tim
Founding Director, Sandbox Education Program

And connect with us on LinkedIn!

Have a question?

If you need further information, please contact us.

Dr. Yenni Tim
Director of the Sandbox Education Program


Have a question?

If you need further information, please contact us.

Dr. Yenni Tim
Founding Director, Sandbox Education Program