Earlier this month we were lucky enough to be judging the first ever entries to our V&A Innovate National Schools Challenge.
We asked students in years 7, 8 and 9 to work in teams on design solutions to real world problems. They chose to explore one of three contextual challenges – Eat, Go or Wear – inspired by our collections and exhibitions that ask critical questions about the issues shaping our world. Within their chosen context, student teams found their own real and relevant problem, and then worked on a new design solution.
Teachers delivered the project over the Autumn term, during lessons or as part of lunchtime and after school clubs, and we were truly excited to receive so many thoughtful, well-researched, creative, inspiring and innovative ideas from students from all over the country.
The judging panel selecting finalists was chef Monica Galetti, Brompton Bicycles COO Paul Williams, sustainable fashion designer Phoebe English, Product Design teacher James Singler, and V&A Director of Learning and National Programmes Helen Charman. The finalists will now have the chance to attend a Pitching & Awards Day at the Museum on 2 March, at which we will announce our first ever V&A Innovate National Schools Challenge winners.
Our finalist schools and their design ideas are:
Wrenn School, Wellingborough
The ever-growing school shoe – to reduce waste and tackle the affordability of school shoes
Harris Academy, Purley
A playground for pigs, to make happier pigs and help the environment
Camden School for Girls, Camden
A wristband that shows the wearer the fastest and safest route home
Northfield School & Sports College, Billingham
A plastic prevention campaign connected to local shopping habits
Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, Darwen
A warm padded jacket for the homeless that protects your belongings
Hoe Valley School, Woking
A multi-purpose kitchen appliance for those living in small homes
A device that can keep you dry while cycling and encourages more people to get on their bikes
Trinity School, Newbury
Jewellery made from food waste
Coundon Court, Coventry
A community centre for the local area to educate people about growing food and cooking
King Ecgbert School, Sheffield
An environmentally friendly cycling bus
It’s going to be a tough decision for the judges on 2 March!