AQA gets involved in Maggie Philbin’s TeenTech Awards

Monday 5 Dec 2016

For the first time, categories for older students have been included in the TeenTech Awards thanks to a suggestion from AQA’s Tech-level team.

The brand new TeenTech categories for 17 to 18 year olds, sponsored by AQA, were:

  • Best Innovation – Concept
  • Best Innovation – Model, Prototype or Product
  • Best Research project.

The winning students were presented with their awards by HRH Duke of York, at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The winning ideas were a Bluetooth speaker made from recycled materials, a cordless hairdryer which minimises heat damage and a toilet block which detects diabetes.

One of the TeenTech winners successfully applied for a job centred around designing products using the skills she had developed during the project. Another decided to study Product Design Engineering at university, instead of pursuing his original plan to do a Mechanical Engineering degree (due to the creative freedom he discovered whilst taking part). His design is also being championed by Maplin, the electronics chain, who are keen to help him explore the commercial feasibility of the product.

TeenTech was founded by science broadcaster Maggie Philbin (Tomorrow’s World) to help young teenagers see the wide range of career possibilities in Science, Engineering and Technology. Students from across the UK were invited to submit their projects. They were challenged to find ways of making life ‘easier, simpler or better’ in key sectors such as health or design. They also had access to industry mentors, and physical and virtual ‘innovation sessions’. The submitted projects were shortlisted and the finalists presented their projects to a judging panel of industry experts, who decided on the winners for each category.

Dean O'Donoghue, AQA Technical Strategist and TeenTech Awards Judge, said:

“We spotted that there was a gap in the TeenTech Awards categories for older students about to go into work or to higher education, who could really benefit from a challenge like this. The concepts the students have developed, the research, and the finished designs and products are all outstanding. We wish everyone who took part this year the best of luck in their future endeavours – watch this space!”

Maggie Philbin, TeenTech Founder, said:

“It was great to have the support of AQA for the older student category, particularly as the work done by students very much complements work they may already be doing for extended project work. It’s been terrific to see how the experience of taking part in the Award programme has very much befitted the students, helping them discover their own potential and also enabling them to catch the eye of employers. The Awards programme is all about forging connections and networks for students and we are delighted that there have been so many great outcomes.”