Notes for Teachers
We’re delighted to be running the Awards again and if you entered last year you’ll notice a few changes to the categories, including our new Teacher of the Year.
If you’ve been along to one of our TeenTech regional events you’ll know how inspirational the day can be – especially the young people who bring it to life by taking part. Our ‘Ideas Wall’ has shown a wealth of creative and innovative talent which deserves a bigger showcase and even further development! The TeenTech Awards are here to do just that!
The competition is designed to be as open as possible – so you have complete freedom to use it to support aspects of the curriculum if you wish to do so. Entries must be made by a UK school on behalf of teams of up to three students. All students must be UK students in year groups 7/8/9/10/11 in December 2013.
We want the TeenTech Awards to be an inspiring experience for every student who takes part. The aim is to encourage them to investigate STEM subjects, to see their relevance to everyday life and inspire them to consider careers they never realised existed.
They might decide to focus on clothing that reacts to music, an app for improving the wider understanding and enjoyment of sport, a new musical instrument or synthesizer, a special ‘Google’ map that works for teenage daily lives, or perhaps something that highlights the efficiency of renewable energy projects such as wind farms.
There are some terrific prizes and experiences for the winners but we want every student to feel enthused and inspired by taking part.
Schools can enter one team in each of the categories. Many schools are running the Awards across entire year groups and then choosing the best ideas with a Dragon’s Den session.
We hope you will be enthused too. You are welcome to use existing links with schools across the world to help your students gain useful perspectives on their ideas.
Where possible we would like students to take advantage of interactions with STEM companies, FE colleges and universities. We want students to see how they can become part of this world and that it is accessible to them. We want to help them get to know people who work in IT, Engineering and Science so they meet real life examples of the people in the STEM workplace or study these subjects at University.
Who can help
Universities and Further Education Colleges – Use local universities’ widening participation and outreach services for support. They will also have STEM ambassadors who can be invited into your school to work with your students on aspects of their project. The teenagers should decide which aspects of their projects might benefit from external collaboration. We will be sending a list of participating Universities in October.
STEM Companies –many organisations are actively looking for opportunities to engage with the local community and the TeenTech Awards provide a focus to help them communicate what they do to a wider audience and help young people understand more about the skills required in their industry. Sponsors are very keen to offer help and support – even in categories other than their own.
Education Business Partnerships. Your local education business partnership may be supporting this competition. They will also have good ideas on how to make the best use of help from companies and will help to co-ordinate activity.
International Collaboration – many schools already partner with overseas schools, this could a be good opportunity to develop a joint innovation project and strengthen those links.
Consider using Skype, WebEx ,email to engage with your collaboration partner via scheduled call, this would also provide great material for the Innovation Log submission.
Please read the competition rules carefully.
Key dates are:
Complete the Stage One Entry Form as soon as possible. This is to let us know the categories you intend you enter. Some categories may become oversubscribed and we will then suggest others to you.
Submit an “Innovation Log” by 4th April 2014 This should be compiled by the students explaining why their idea is innovative, the market it will reach and detailing organisations they have contacted and collaborated with . More details can be found in the Competition Rules here and the Judging Criteria here.
Finalists will be notified on 30th April 2014 and invited to attend the TeenTech Awards Day where they will showcase their idea to the judges and then attend the ceremony where the winning team in each category and the overall winner will be announced.
This is an exciting opportunity for students to find out more about issues and priorities in different parts of the world. It’s also a real test of organisational skills.
Suggestions for how to make the international collaboration work well
1. Students could make a short video to give partners an idea of their everyday life. It could show the town where they live, the size of their school, the bands they like , the sports they play etc . They could share details of ideas they think would improve life in their town or city.
2. Make sure to include lots of pictures of the partner team and the work they do on the project.
3. Students should let us know how and why they decided to work in a particular way. How often did they have contact with each other? How did they share the workload? Did they learn better ways of working together. How did they make the most of being able to collaborate internationally