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Designs for tomorrow's world

Talented teens show industry experts their winning ideas for a 'better, simpler, easier' future at TeenTech Awards 2016

Posted by Hannah Oakman | June 22, 2016 | Events

Ahead of Women in Engineering day on 23 June, eight of the 20 TeenTech awards categories were won by teams of girls yesterday. 

Seventy-five girls and 69 boys reached the final held at the Royal Society in London, demonstrating that girls are just as enthusiastic as boys when it comes to developing tech ideas that will change our world. 

Wearable technology and health and well-being was a prominent feature at the 2016 TeenTech Awards, with ‘Bras with Benefits’ a cancer-detecting bra, designed to identify early stage breast cancer, winning the Wearable Technology prize and Medivest, pipped three other highly commendable finalists to the post in the Healthcare Category. Medivest is a unique, advanced piece of wearable technology designed to combat the often crippling cases of severe epilepsy.

A host of celebrities, journalists and eminent academics visited the Royal Society to meet the talented young entrepreneurs and hear more about their cutting-edge insights into how to harness technology to make the world better. More than 120 teens were given the opportunity to get their ideas in front of the businesses and individuals who can help commercialise them and make them a reality. Co-founder of TeenTech co-founder and former BBC Tomorrow’s World presenter, Maggie Philbin, was joined by a host of familiar faces including Professor Brian Cox, theoretical physicist and broadcaster Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Channel 4’s Dr Christian Jessen, BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, Fran Scott, CBBC Science Presenter and Jo Johnson MP.

Students aged 11-18 years old were challenged to use technology to solve real-world problems by researching current markets and gleaning advice from industry experts. The students invented scientific and technological solutions to real problems across a range of categories including energy, healthcare, education, entertainment, environment, transport, construction and wearables.

Winning teams have been rewarded with special experiences with the sponsoring companies and an invitation from TeenTech Patron HRH Duke of York KG to a special reception at Buckingham Palace in the Autumn.

Harry Smith, 18 from Oakham School was named as winner of the Consumer Innovation award, sponsored by Maplin. His idea, ‘Gust,’ is an ergonomically redesigned hairdryer that is cordless and heats using semi-conductors to minimise damage to the hair. Maplin will be working with Harry over the next 12 months to see if his idea can be made, marketed, and sold in their stores - with all profits going back to Oakham School. 

‘Bras with Benefits’, the winner of the Wearable Technology Category, sponsored by Maplin was created by Alexandria Hall, 15, from Alton Convent School. BwB – Bras with Benefits is a cancer detecting bra, designed to identify early stage breast cancer before outward signs are visible. Alexandria said of her win: "Everyone knows someone affected by cancer and what's more it's not just the person diagnosed who suffers - it's their friends, family, and loved ones too.  So when we were asked to 'solve a problem' that seemed a good place to start.”

TV’s Professor Brian Cox said of the awards: “I always look forward to seeing what the students at TeenTech come up with and I’m never disappointed. We are seeing the next generation of scientists and engineers, and it fills me with optimism. TeenTech's great contribution is to re-enforce their enthusiasm and to provide them with both the inspiration and information they will need to build successful careers. Every finalist was a worthy finalist and as for the winners, I congratulate you. But the real prize is your future in science and engineering."

TeenTech’s founder and CEO, Maggie Philbin, said: “Every year we are blown away by the exceptional standard of entries coming through the awards, and this year has been no exception. The Awards offer an incredible opportunity for businesses, and academics to get a genuine insight into just how entrepreneurial and tech-savvy the youngsters of today can prove to be.” 

“With the right support, the kids of today display bundles of enthusiasm and time and again prove how capable they are of shaping the future in a really positive way. The Awards are without doubt the highlight of the TeenTech calendar and really sum up what we’re about; embracing creative talent, putting youngsters face-to-face with industry professionals, and encouraging them to see the power and potential of their ideas.” 

TeenTech Awards 2016 Winners 

Healthcare category

Loughborough Grammar School – David, Sankha and Hari for Medivest

A unique, advanced piece of wearable technology designed to combat severe epilepsy, allowing patients to monitor and send their vital signs to their doctors from the comfort of their homes.

Energy category, sponsored by National Grid  

Westcliffe High School for Boys – Adwaith for “The Palat Engine”

Concerned about effects exhaust gases from vehicles have on the health of the population, Adwaith investigated different forms of fuels and alternate engine configurations. The result is the Palat Engine, the emission from which is almost pure water.

Transport category, sponsored by Airbus

Caterham School –  Casper, David and Oliver for “Sensosafe”

A versatile bike light that senses when a car is approaching and notifies the cyclist.

Education Category

Woldingham School – Milan, Imogen and Maria for “MyST App” 

The My School Trip (MyST) app is designed for teachers to use to find new and exciting school trips for their class

Wearable Technology category, sponsored by Maplin

Alton Convent School – Alexandria for “Bras with Benefits” 

BwB – Bras with Benefits is a cancer detecting bra, designed to identify early stage breast cancer before outward signs are visible.

Music, Media & Entertainment category, sponsored by JVCKenwood

Gillingham School – Thomas and Sol for “Sabretooth Music”

A unique audio system that enables multi-room speaker from any device and any digital music collection.

Environment category

James Allen’s Girls’ School – Isabelle and Kyoka for “GreenNet”

A biodegradable fishing net that will break down in water after only two weeks. Current fishing nets are made of nylon which persist in the environment for up to 40 years.

Safety & Security category, sponsored by Symantec     

Welland Park Academy – Ted, James and Joshua for “Blue-Key”

A digital system devised to solve the problem of lost keys, safety and security.  BLUE-KEY can be connected to a central hub using the smartphone app to open or close selected doors remotely.

Retail & Finance category

Notre Dame School – Eve, Zara, Tia and Niamh for ‘Trolley Knowledge”

A built-in shopping trolley tablet which helps make the weekly shop easier by navigating the store and tracking spending.

Design & Construction category, sponsored by ATKINS     

Westminster Academy – Siana for “Emergency Necklace Bridge”

An emergency bridge that can be easily transported to and assembled at the site experiencing critical conditions such as damaged infrastructure.

Future of Food category

Alton Convent School – Iona, Isabel and Lucy for “Natural Nutrients”

Driven by three concerns: the global levels of poverty and malnutrition, the loss of our rainforests and the need to empower local communities to support themselves. Natural Nutrients capitalises on the resources of a living rainforest, providing local people with the tools and skills to produce nutritious food supplements from edible bugs.                             

Digital Skills category, sponsored by DELL         

The King Edward VI School – Alistair, William and Matthew for “NavBand”

Manufacturing Award sponsored by Cranfield University

Loughborough High School – Chloe, Lini and Ashley for “Steerclear”

An adaptation of the modern steering wheel, to make driving a more enjoyable experience whilst making it safer and more interesting to drive

Research and Literacy Award sponsored by CILIP Information Literacy Group  

Oakham School – Matthew, Oliver and Archie for “K-Charge”

A shoe integrated with a battery, which charges the battery by converting the kinetic energy generated by walking into electrical energy

Teacher of the Year category        

Natalie Radmore from Passmores Academy

Best Innovation – Concept category

Sandbach High School & Sixth Form College – Amy for “Bluetooth Speakers”

A bluetooth speaker that is made from obsolete books and vinyl records. 

Best Innovation – Model, Prototype or Product category

Oakham School – Harry for “Gust”

An ergonomically redesigned hairdryer that is cordless, heats using semi-conductors to minimise damage to the hair.

Best Research Project

Loughborough Grammar School – Sai for “Biosense”

Research into the detection of glucose in the urine of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes through a toilet block that causes a colour change in the toilet bowl, signifying a positive result for a disease test.

Consumer Innovation Award sponsored by Maplin  

Oakham School – Harry for “Gust”

An ergonomically redesigned hairdryer that is cordless, heats using semi-conductors to minimise damage to the hair.

People’s Choice Award

Impington Village College – Peter, Jim and Eddie for “Let’s Get Biking”

An app aimed at young children who like biking, with features that include parental control to monitor bike travel to allow parents to select safe routes and traffic information.

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