It’s been another impressive year for students taking part in the TeenTech Awards at Oakham School: with teams winning much-coveted places in the Final for the fourth year running!
Overall three teams have won places in the National Final, which is particularly outstanding given that only four teams were entered from Oakham. The Final, which is to be held at the Institution of Engineering and Technology on 24 June, will see students present their work to the public and try to convince the judging team.
“Our track record in the TeenTech Awards is extraordinary - with students winning places in the Finals each and every year the School has entered,” says Darryl Toerien, Head of Library at Oakham School, who coordinates TeenTech entries. “As well as an impressive 18 teams having made it to the Finals during the four years we’ve been entering, including this year’s teams, we’ve also enjoyed an impressive success rate. So far there have been 6 TeenTech Awards won, and we will shortly know if this year’s teams are successful again!”
The successful finalists from Oakham are:
- Team MINDSTORMS (Sixth Formers Robert, Paul and Emma) whose inquiry into ‘Increasing Equity of Access to STEM through Robotics Competitions such as FIRST LEGO League Jr’ has won them a place in the Final of the Best Research Project Category.
- Third Form student James, aka Team FOSILTT, for his work on an online application for teaching the FOSIL Cycle of inquiry in the Digital Skills Category. This is the second year in a row that James has made it to the Finals having received a ‘highly commended’ last year in the Research and Information Literacy Award.
- Team SmG, who is Third Form student David, who designed a smart glider to combat poaching for the Environment and Energy Category.
Darryl is particularly delighted that students have made it through to the Finals of the Research and Information Literacy Category (11-16) each year, and have won twice so far. “We can see a tangible outcome of FOSIL in these successes,” continues Darryl. “Through FOSIL we are equipping our students to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information they find and use. There is no better validation for our students’ ability to ask and answer questions for themselves than being repeatedly nominated for, and winning, this Award.”
He also outlines how proud he is of the students, given they undertake TeenTech as an activity and therefore have to undertake considerable amounts of work on the development of their projects in their own time, unlike other schools who run them during curriculum time. “It shows extraordinary commitment by the students – so it is wonderful to see their hard work and efforts rewarded by places in the Finals.”
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 Award was set up to help young people understand their true potential in the contemporary STEM workplace.