Rebecca Jones, CILIP Information Literacy Group’s Schools representative, reports below on judging entries for the TeenTech Award finals. The CILIP Information Literacy Group, in partnership with the TeenTech initiative, sponsors an award for 11-16 year olds that recognises excellence in research and information literacy.
On Monday 20th June the finals of the TeenTech Awards took place at the Royal Society in London. This year the committee and sub-group had judged the 50 entries for the Research and Literacy Award and invited the top 5 teams to attend the finals. The event saw over 120 teenagers set up their stalls over three floors, and showcase their innovations, creations and prototypes. After a briefing from CEO and founder Maggie Philbin, we went to find our finalists. The teams had been provided with specific feedback from our initial judging and also with general comments and guidance that they could use to enhance their submission. Both Rowena [Macrae-Gibson, CILIP ILG Deputy Chair] and myself were impressed with the level of commitment that the teams had shown to the research process and the way that they had taken on-board advice and risen to the challenge.
The team from King Edward VI school, with their innovation NavBand had used the research map that we had provided to demonstrate how they had used different sources to inform their process. They had a full length print out on their board that they talked us through. They had made excellent use of primary research and gathered opinions to inform their product.
The Oakham Team, Pet Connect, had used the feedback to reassess their level of research and had sought out information that allowed them to show the need for and value of their product along with identifying possible competitors. They were a very strongteam.
Our winners for this year were K-Charge, a team from Oakham School who had developed a shoe that charged a battery from the kinetic energy generated by walking. The whole team showed that they had undertaken both secondary and primary research. They had sought out precise confirmations of their calculations and justifications for the development of their project which they displayed on their board. This team had also provided references to the pictures and maps that they had used, which showed an attention to detail. Their time management and planning was excellent and their use of detailed ‘to-do’ lists ensured that they stayed on target.
The Awards themselves were presented in the afternoon by myself alongside our celebrity tech judge Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology Correspondent. The team will also receive an invitation from TeenTech Patron HRH Duke of York KG to a special reception at Buckingham Palace in the Autumn.
ILG have produced a range of free resources to support the Award, or indeed any research project, that are available from the website and it was great to hear from teachers who had brought the teams that they had been using them with their pupils.
The ILG are continuing to support our award and personally, I can’t wait for the next round to begin again in September; altogether, it was an amazing and stimulating event that celebrated ideas and collaboration between teenagers and professionals within the STEM industry.
Visit the Information Literacy website’s TeenTech pages at: http://www.infolit.org.uk/teentech/