CREATIVE pupils have designed everything from a dance mat T-shirt to a cyclists’ jacket with indicators which light up when a rider raises his arm, during a science fair.
Ten teams of secondary school students from across Yorkshire were set the challenge of creating wearable technology and came up with a series of innovative ideas.
Roundhay School won a Peoples Award for their designs. They came up with the idea of gloves with conductor pads that could be used for a primary school walking bus which would alert the teacher if one of the pupils stopped holding hands. They also came up with a GPS dog coat which would send an alert if the dog strayed outside a set area.
Cockburn High pupils had a similar idea. They developed a dog coat that would light up when owners took their pet for a walk and included a timer to let people know how long they had been out.
Another award winning idea came from pupils at Swallow Hill Community College in Leeds who suggested a cycling jacket with indicators.
The overall winner of the competition was Netherwood Advanced Learning Centre, from Barnsley, who created a “dance mat “ T shirt to encourage pupils to be active.
The ideas were developed at the Premier Farnell Wearable Technology Challenge. Ten teams competed at an event at Leeds Beckett University. It also involved the Ahead Partnership which works to bring together schools and businesses.
Pupils were given a coding kit and a budget to buy material and then tasked with getting their prototypes ready for the final.
Ahead Partnership chief executive, Stephanie Burras said: “It was clear that every team was so proud of their final ideas and so they should have been. I was full of admiration for every student who took part.”
Peter Birks, business president Sales and Marketing, Europe at Premier Farnell, said: “Premier Farnell is hugely committed to supporting the development of our next generation of coders. We are in a period of great technological innovation and change, meaning that it is more and more necessary for people of all ages to know how to use the connected world, whether that be computers, programmable devices or the Internet of Things. We have helped to bring to market some of the world’s leading electronic products including Codebug, the Raspberry Pi and most recently the BBC Micro:bit.
“With coding becoming as important as reading and writing, we must provide opportunities for both boys and girls to see the many and varied career paths that could be opened up to them by studying
STEM subjects and help them to thrive in this entrepreneurial and innovation–led environment. This challenge is a fantastic example of what we can do to inspire our young minds, and we were delighted to be a part of it.”
The judging panel for the Challenge included Robin Brinkworth, senior lecturer in Product Design and Joy Tasker, senior lecturer in Engineering from Leeds Beckett University and Peter Birks, Sales & Marketing President Europe from Premier Farnell.
Other ideas included a fire fighters’s glove that would detect CO2 and temperature which was developed by pupils at Carleton High and a coat that would heat up in the pockets and back when buttons were pressed, designed by pupils at Guiseley School.