First winners of Community Tech challenge revealed

The winning schools received £25,000 from competition partners HP, Microsoft, and Intel to spend on tech to support their STEAM programmes

HP, in partnership with Microsoft and Intel, have announced the inaugural winners of the Community Tech Challenge – Glascote Academy from Tamworth, and Woodlands School from Essex. Each school has been awarded £25,000 to spend on technology products and services to help reinforce STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) learning. 

Every year the HP Community Tech Challenge will award four schools £25,000 to spend on technology products and services. Schools enter the competition by submitting their reasons for needing the fund and how its pupils will benefit. Entries are judged by a panel of HP, Microsoft and Intel education and technology experts. 

“The opening submissions reinforced HP’s appreciation of the dedication and passion of educators across the UK; it was truly difficult to select one winner for our prize this quarter, which is why we chose two,” said Neil Sawyer, Education Business Director at HP. “We believe the Community Tech Challenge will help even more schools implement the technology needed to reinvent learning environments and boost the teaching of STEAM subjects.” 

We’ve already seen marked success with our STEAM programme, and this award will help us build a greater digital learning culture within the school. – Claire Cooper, Glascote Academy

Winning schools are free to invest the money on any area of their tech infrastructure, from Wi-Fi improvements, to software updates, to hardware upgrades. Schools are also encouraged to collaborate with their local communities and help the environment by trading in unwanted devices for recycling. HP is aiming to recycle 500 devices through each school within six months of receiving the prize.

Claire Cooper, IT Lead at Glascote Academy in Tamworth, said: “We’re immensely grateful to be the recipient of the HP Tech Challenge prize. We’ve already seen marked success with our STEAM programme, and this award will help us build a greater digital learning culture within the school, providing our pupils with even more opportunities to develop STEAM-related skills through the use of leading technology.”

Simon Cox, Headteacher at the Woodlands School in Essex, commented: “Given over half of our 1,500 pupils have been diagnosed with some form of Speech and Language special needs, we understand how challenged students can be at a disadvantage during exams. We wanted to change that. With this HP Tech Challenge award, Woodlands will invest in a digital support platform providing students – once limited by their speech and language challenges – with the tools needed to truly excel.” 

The Community Tech Challenge continues through 2018, with Q3 entries open until 29th June via nominations@hptechfund.com.