The next generation of innovators met TeenTech patron HRH The Duke of York KG at Buckingham Palace to share their bold inventions, designed to make life ‘better, simpler, safer or more fun’ using the power of science and technology. Ideas include drones to detect and absorb pollutants, an app that calculates a safe way home from school and a suitcase that provides everything for the stressed commuter, with room for clothes, a workspace and even somewhere to sit.
The 269 schools registered to take part in the Awards and over 1500 students were involved from schools across the UK and Europe. Sumair Mohammed from Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton was named Teacher of the Year. His school has participated for two years , over which time he has seen the number of students wanting to be involved soar from 8 to 80.
Sumair Mohammed, TeenTech Teacher of the Year said: "Many of our students do not realise life beyond Brixton but with the support of TeenTech, our students have been given access to mentors from some of the largest technology companies in the world. TeenTech has had an incredibly positive impact on our students, allowing them to recognise a future for themselves in careers they had not thought of.
"Since starting the TeenTech Awards at Evelyn Grace Academy, we have also noticed an increase in students at Year 9 choosing Computer Science as their first choice subject for GCSEs; before we did the program, there were 12 students in our GCSE Computer Science class, we now have the majority of our current Year 9 cohort selecting this subject. I have found the best influence TeenTech has is on our more reserved students who are often forgotten about in the classroom. They’ve realised they can achieve more than they thought they were capable of and it’s been a pleasure to be able to see them grow so much all due to this initiative."
Maggie Philbin, TeenTech Co-founder and Tomorrow's World presenter said: "The winners can be really proud of their achievements and what’s particularly exciting is how the impact goes deep beyond them into a school. Support from the TeenTech Programme is enabling teenagers to develop incredible ideas and projects and helping students understand their own potential. I owe a massive thank you to the support from our sponsors, brilliant mentors and of course HRH The Duke of York who has been an enthusiastic supporter of our work from the beginning.
"Schools and students taking part in the TeenTech programme are provided with resources and year-round support including access mentors all over the world. They can also attend 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."
Nick Bury, Teacher, Minehead Middle School said: "It is a fantastic opportunity for children from a very rural background to experience technology at an outstanding level."
Louie Evans, Bromley High School said: "This has been a great opportunity for our pupils to take a lead in their own project and take the first steps to being leading female engineers, designers or scientists."