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Aspiring inventors present green ideas at Northwood College's Dragons Den event

Published on isbi School News dated Tuesday 31st of May 2011

The next generation of inventors showcased a series of eco-friendly ideas at a Dragon's Den inspired event at Northwood College. About 80 students designed an innovative 'green' creation, with the top 20 asked to present their ideas before a judging panel.

The judges included sustainable development manager for Ikea, Charlie Brown; co-founder of website, Tracey Currer; founder and CEO of Love2Scoot, Victoria Atherstone; and director of Cool It World Ltd, Jane Langley.

About 200 people attended the event, on April 28, with finalists given just a few minutes to pitch their inventions. The youngest students, Maya Patel and Anya Sumaria, both in Year three, were crowned the winners of the junior school section with Green Wind Power, an ingenious way of fitting fans into the grills of cars and on top of street lights, to harness wind energy. Year Four students Nicole Li and Serena Hart, came second with their Solar Beach Parasol - the answer for anyone whose mobile phone or MP3 player has ever run out of battery on the beach.

In the Senior school, Year 11 pupil Nikkita Mitchell won with Aquarius, an innovative way of transporting and filtering water in less developed countries. The kind-hearted student insisted her £100 prize money be donated to a charity which supports development of a hygenic water supply in poverty-stricken nations.

Close behind were Priti Swamy and Jenny Spencer, both in year seven, who designed Chip 'n' Plant, an electronic chip which provides reading to indicate how to keep a plant healthy.
Ms Atherstone said: I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was so impressed with the girls' ideas and confidence on stage, most of them presented better than actual start-ups pitching for money!" Ms Langley added: "This was a brilliant teaching idea in action, enabling students to recognise their talents and communicate their ideas in a public space."

The annual event gives pupils the chance to demonstrate the skills they have gained as part of the school's innovative Thinking and Learning Skills programme. Teacher Jane Simister, programme director, said: "This year was particularly exciting, as the challenge was that much tougher - with the requirement that the girls' inventions had not only to be innovative and unique, but also in some way environmentally friendly. "Character traits such as initiative, persistence, flexibility of mind and responsible risk taking are taught throughout the school."
Aspiring inventors present green ideas at Northwood College's Dragons Den event  - Photo 1
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