Yorkshire Regional Final: 11th May 2018
On Friday 11th May, Solutions for the Planet began three weeks of regional final events for our Big Ideas Competition 2018. Our Yorkshire teams from schools in Leeds and Bradford descended upon the University of Leeds for a fantastic day of presentations, tours and a surprise workshop!
Our 11 teams represented five schools within the region; Dixons City Academy and St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College from Bradford; and Corpus Christi Catholic College, Bishop Young CofE Academy and Pudsey Grangefield School from Leeds. All teams delivered 5-minute presentations in front of a packed audience including the other schools, judges, and business mentors. Our judging panel included representatives from business partners Tarmac and IGEM, plus the University of Leeds, Ecofootprinting, and Child Friendly Leeds. All had the chance to question teams in more detail about their ideas before retiring to make the very tricky decision as to who would be awarded automatic qualification into the National Finals! This is not a decision I would have wanted to responsibility of making – the quality of presentations and business plans was absolutely superb as was the sheer passion and enthusiasm of this year’s finalists.
Whilst the judges deliberated, our teams were given a tour of the university by the fantastic student ambassadors. Once back with S4TP, the teams were then treated to a sneak peak of visual learning tools designed by one of our partner organisations Climate-KIC. Teams had a great time testing the tools (the first time this has been done with students in the UK, and with students in this age bracket), and fed back enthusiastically about how they thought the tools could help their business plan. After a quick sugar boost, it was back to business with the judges ready to announce our top three teams!
In third place came MediPing from Corpus Christi Catholic College, a fantastic medical app designed to remind young people to take and complete courses of medication. These year 9s really stood out because of their detailed market research and the way they changed target audiences based on their findings.
In second place came G.I.F.T.E. from St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College. This team of year 8s tackled water poverty with a filtration device which could be easily transported in a back-pack, allowing water to be purified as a person walks back to their village. Seeing a working prototype of this really impressed the judges!
Finally, the winning team, gaining automatic qualification to our National Final at the Palace of Westminster in July, was S.O.S. (Save Our Seas) from Pudsey Grangefield School. These years 7s are passionate about ocean pollution and so designed a sea-cleaning vacuum complete with a frequency emitting sound system to frighten away fish and prevent them being caught in the product. Judges were particularly impressed at the level of scientific research which had gone into this project including a collaboration with university students and a behavioural ecology experiment to test the sounds which best repelled fish.
We now wish team S.O.S. the best of luck as they prepare for the National Final. However, we want to congratulate all the students who presented on Friday – they are truly inspirational role models and each team is a winner in our eyes. The presentations covered such a huge range of topics; clean energy harnessed from lightning; apps to reduce carbon footprints; bee-friendly pesticides; and the use of music and peer support to benefit mental health. At S4TP we believe each and every one of these ideas could be made into a reality with the continued passion and enthusiasm of our Yorkshire students behind them. So, to all our Yorkshire Regional Finalists please give yourselves a huge pat on the back, let our feedback sink in and keep in touch as to how your ideas progress!
Written by: Dr. Jess Mitchell, S4TP Programme Coordinator, North England & Scotland
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solutions for the Planet Ltd.