V&A Innovate

We're inviting young people, educators and schools all over the country to become the designers of tomorrow. Innovate is our annual National Schools Challenge, asking students in years 7, 8 and 9 to work in teams to design a solution to a real-world problem.

Combining the shared knowledge of today's leading designers with our incredible collections, this Key Stage 3 initiative will energise the next generation of creative, thoughtful and change-making young innovators.

V&A National Schools Challenge

V&A National Schools Challenge

Held annually, students in years 7, 8 and 9 are given the opportunity to experience the power of design and technology in solving some of the world's biggest problems. Students can choose to explore one of three contextual challenges inspired by our collections and exhibitions that ask critical questions about the issues shaping our world. Within their chosen context, student teams discover their own real and relevant problem to solve – at home, in school, or locally – leading to a new design solution.

Whether you're a teacher of D&T, Art & Design, Sciences, Geography, Citizenship, or something else entirely, you could run Innovate in your class to show the power of design in a fast-changing world. Innovate could be run over a term within D&T, or over a day with a STEAM project, or over a few weeks with an extra-curricular club.

Teacher hub

Teacher hub

Our online resources bring innovation into the classroom with short films and animations, toolkits with activity ideas and guidance on delivering Innovate. We also offer national in-person, industry-led Continued Professional Development opportunities.

Innovate is created by us in collaboration with designers and secondary schools across the country.

This is our first year and to practice what we preach, we are asking you to design this with us. Document what worked, what didn't and why. All of these lessons will help us understand how to keep improving this programme.

If at any point you have questions, suggestions or ideas, drop us a line at innovate@vam.ac.uk

Register to take part