Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, ocean pollution, green travel, smart food and the future of our education policy are just some of the issues tackled by the teenage finalists in this year’s TeenTech Awards announced by TeenTech co-founder Maggie Philbin.
Over the last nine months, teenagers from schools across the UK and Europe have used the power of science, technology and engineering to find innovative solutions to some of society’s biggest issues, learning how to problem-solve, plan, and work in teams on their journey to become future innovators.
TeenTech co-founder and Tomorrow’s World presenter Maggie Philbin OBE said: “Ensuring that we encourage teenagers and young people to discover their creativity and excitement about engineering, science and technology is vital if we’re going to inspire a generation of innovators. This year’s entries have yet again demonstrated that with support from the TeenTech Programme, teenagers can create incredible ideas and projects. The 2018 finalists can be truly proud of their achievements; the standard of entries was exceptionally high this year.”
The TeenTech Awards, an initiative run by TeenTech with leading industry partners, challenges young people aged 11-19 to develop solutions to key societal, health and environmental issues using the power of science, technology and engineering. This year 269 schools registered to take part in the Awards and over 1500 students are involved.
Ensuring that we encourage teenagers and young people to discover their creativity and excitement about engineering, science and technology is vital if we’re going to inspire a generation of innovators. – Maggie Philbin OBE
Maggie added: “The Awards are 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 inspiring them to see the power and potential of their ideas.”
The real impact of the initiative can be measured in the changes that take place in the schools that take part.
“What we’ve witnessed over the years is that having students taking part, whether they win or not, makes a real difference to the whole school community; they inspire other children to want to do the same,” Maggie explained. “We have schools who started out tentatively with a small group of students and who are now regularly involving whole year groups to meet student demand. Many also report a rise in students wanting to study design and technology, and engineering. It’s definitely not a one-time-only involvement; it seems that we are inspiring serial innovators who want the opportunity to bring their ideas to life.”
Providing the school and students with the resources and year-round support to do this is an important element of the TeenTech experience. Every student and school taking part has access to a team of expert mentors providing feedback and advice, and a series of live innovation events and workshops with more than 200 scientists, engineers and technology pioneers from companies such as Accenture, Atkins, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, GSK, JVC Kenwood, Symantec, FDM Group, Cross Country Trains, Rolls Royce and Lloyds Banking Group.
The finalists will now present their innovations at the Royal Society on 25 June in the hope of being named overall winner. Each innovation will be assessed by panels of judges consisting of celebrities, journalists and eminent academics, including Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE, British theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster, science and tech reporter Dallas Campbell, and Suzy Perry, television presenter for BT Sport. The winning teens will then be invited to present their idea to HRH The Duke of York later in the year.
For more information, visit: http://www.teentech.com/teentech-awards/