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PA OPINION

PA Raspberry Pi Awards 2019: One week to go

Ingenuity has the power to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world. Nowhere is that more evident than at our annual Raspberry Pi Awards. The event shows the incredible things school students are capable of when they focus their ingenuity on the challenges facing society.

Today starts the one-week countdown to the seventh PA Raspberry Pi Awards in the UK and, as always, we can’t wait to meet our finalists. Since starting the competition in 2012, we’ve learnt that young minds are some of the most ingenious around.

I love the optimism school children display. Unlike some of us adults, they’re more likely to focus on opportunities instead of barriers, even if the challenges are sometimes more complex than they expected. They’re stretching our imagination of the possible and that’s a good thing.

We’ve also seen how school children bring together diverse teams to create outstanding innovations. They share ideas freely, from product concepts, to design theories, to coding best practice, appreciating the value of their peers’ perspectives. It’s a skill that we’ve found is essential to success in the business world but is often forgotten in teams organised by skillset.

This year, we’ve challenged the teams to create something that will transform travel and transport. From more than 180 applications across four age-groups, our expert judges have chosen a shortlist of just 12 ingenious teams.

The finalists, who will gather in London next week, are diverse teams who are overcoming complex challenges to present ingenious inventions.

But don’t just take my word for it. Read about the teams’ ideas yourself:

Academic years 4-6

St Mary’s School, Horsham, Sussex
Park and Stride – An invention that enables children to travel to and from school more safely.

Croydon High School, London
A way of improving travel for the visually impaired through a voice-activated bus stop audio message system.

Egglescliffe C of E Primary School, County Durham
MALcolm – An automated ‘companion’ for astronauts to help them maintain a healthy body, mind and environment on their journey to Mars.

Academic years 7-9

Hack Horsham, Sussex
TrainBot – A train safety and management system that captures real-time data and prompts actions to ensure safe travel.

Lady Eleanor Holles School, London
Brainy Baby Belt – A product that makes children’s car seats safer by issuing an alert when they become unclipped and provides entertainment.

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College, London
An app that checks how healthy and eco-friendly you are, and shows you ways to help the environment.

Academic years 10-11

Westminster School, London
Find My Way – A way to cycle safely through urban areas using flashing gloves as your guide.

Ferndown Upper School, Dorset
Travel Ted – An interactive travel companion for young children, designed for those with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

The Liverpool Blue Coat School, Lancashire
A facial recognition system that makes bus travel easier, helps the environment and prevents fraud.

Academic years 12-13

Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn, Carmarthenshire
A system to reduce the waiting time for drivers at traffic lights.

King Edward VI Grammar School, Essex
A system to reduce air pollution by detecting levels of harmful gases.

Stanmore College, Middlesex
A fingerprint recognition system to prevent fraudulent travel.

 

We look forward to seeing all 12 teams present their ideas, mingle with leading innovators from the business world and enjoy a range of challenging activities at the Raspberry Pi Awards on 30 April. You can keep up with all the latest information, and follow the awards day live, on our Twitter account @PA_RaspberryPi.

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