For the third year running, students from Oakham School have been selected to take part in the TeenTech final! An impressive four teams have progressed to the Final in total, each in a different category. It is particularly notable that a student has won a place in the Final for the Research and Information Literacy Award – making it three years in a row for Oakham School and two years in a row for this student!
“It is fantastic that our pupils have, yet again, done so well in these prestigious Awards,” says Darryl Toerien, Head of Library at Oakham School, who coordinated the entries. “Particularly having another finalist in the Research and Information Literacy Award – given our emphasis on, and sector-leading approach to, inquiry-based learning.”
Oakham School has a strong reputation for success in the TeenTech Awards. When the School first entered the competition, in 2016, five teams won places in the Finals. They picked up an impressive three awards, more than any other school at the event – the ‘Research and Information Literacy Award’, the accolade of ‘Best Innovation’, and the much-coveted ‘Consumer Innovation Award’. Last year six teams made it to the final, the most from any school in the competition, of which two teams went on to win - the Research & Information Literacy Award and the Health Award.
This year’s young inventors will now join all of the other winning entrepreneurs at the Royal Society in London on Monday 25 June to present their pioneering ideas to a team of judges made up of celebrity science presenters, journalists and eminent academics, who last year included Channel 4’s Dr Christian Jessen, BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Click reporter Kate Russell, and science and tech reporter Dallas Campbell.
Oakham’s four teams, who have each won a place in the final, are:
- VanGuard, is an intelligent speed bump which aims to protect pedestrians from vehicle-based terror attacks. The team, led by Zsolti, has won a place in the Research and Information Literacy category. It is unique in that the team was made up of a group of home educated primary-aged students based in London, who worked collaboratively and remotely! This is the second year that Zsolti has enjoyed success at the TeenTech Awards.
- Anyweara, created by Aashish and Georgia and nominated in the Wearable Technology category, is a heated, waterproof and dirt-repellent jacket for homeless people that unfolds into a sleeping bag.
- MODsee is a modular robot that can reconfigure itself for search and rescue operations. Nominated in the Safety and Security category, it was created by James.
- Holly has won a place in the Best Research Project category for her inquiry into the causes of the underrepresentation of women in Computer Science
Three other teams submitted Innovation Logs to the competition. Whilst they were not successfully in being selected for the Final, they will receive a certificate (Bronze, Silver or Gold) and it is certainly an achievement in itself to have taken part in the challenge. As Darryl Toerien explains, “TeenTech is an excuse for us to embark on an ambitious intellectual adventure, which need not end with the Innovation Log, the Final, or even the Award Ceremony. The journey is the real reward.
The TeenTech Awards challenge students to work in teams (of up to three) to look at problems large and small, and to see if they can use their imagination and think creatively to find a better way of doing things. The competition, which is incredibly well-regarded, was set up to help young people understand their true potential in the contemporary STEM workplace.