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Success at the TeenTech Awards!


Students from Oakham School swept the board at the TeenTech Awards, with teams picking up an impressive three awards, more than any other school at the event – the ‘Research and Information Literacy Award’, the accolade of ‘Best Innovation’, and the much-coveted ‘Consumer Innovation Award’.

Oakham’s five teams had already seen off competition from hundreds of teams from schools across the UK to win their place in the finals. The young innovators joined 120 talented entrepreneurs at the Royal Society in London to present their pioneering ideas to a team of judges made up of celebrity science presenters, journalists and eminent academics – including Professor Brian Cox, former BBC Tomorrow’s World presenter Maggie Philbin, and BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones.

Seventh Former Harry Smith won an impressive two awards for his idea, ‘Gust’, an ergonomically redesigned hairdryer that is cordless and heats using semi-conductors to minimise damage to the hair – which was originally his A2 DT project. As well as winning ‘Best Innovation - Model, Prototype or Product’, he also won the coveted ‘Consumer Innovation Award’ - which means that Maplin will work with him over the next 12 months to see if his idea can be made, marketed, and sold in their stores!

Matthew Nagel, Oliver Bunce and Archie Bagshaw – aka Team K-Charge - won the Research and Information Literacy Award. They had designed a school shoe that converts kinetic energy into electrical energy to charge mobile devices.

“This is an absolutely outstanding result for our students,” says Headmaster Nigel Lashbrook. “They have certainly made their mark on the national stage for their innovative ideas, as well as the hard work they put into researching and developing them. It’s wonderful to be able to share in their success, and we are very much looking forward to seeing what other innovations they come up - not just during their time at Oakham, but in their future careers too!”

Both of Oakham’s winning teams are thrilled to now have the honour of receiving their awards from TeenTech Patron HRH Duke of York, at a special reception at Buckingham Palace in the autumn. The other three teams from the School, as well as a team of Oakham’s teachers who were also jointly shortlisted for the TeenTech Teacher of the Year Award, all did exceptionally well to win a place in the final, given that only 49 teams were selected from the 1,400 teams entered.

“I was confident that we could compete at the very highest level, because of the competition’s unique emphasis on both the design process and the research process – two areas in which Oakham has a national reputation,” says Darryl Toerien, Head of Library at Oakham School, who coordinated the entries. “However I’m absolutely thrilled at just how many accolades our teams won – not only the fact that our students won three awards, but that, in our first year of taking part, every single team from the School won a place in the final.”

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. It is an incredibly well-regarded competition. As one of the competition judges, TV’s Professor Brian Cox, outlines: “I always look forward 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."


Published: July 11 2016

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