A year after its launch, the Longitude Explorer Prize has seen almost 70 brilliant ideas of using satellite data to tackle social issues sent by schools from across the UK. Throughout a 10 month period, young people aged 11- 16 worked hard to develop their technologies from concept to reality.
In March, semi-finalist groups were invited to the Big Bang Fair for inspiration and to gather knowledge, tools and resources to create an Action Plan covering key aspects of product development and marketing. After working on their ideas for a few months, the teams were then invited to Technopop in July to present their prototypes to the judging panel. Based on their presentations and Action Plans, 12 exceptional ideas were selected to progress to the final stage of the challenge.
The finalists were given a couple of months to further develop their prototypes, polish presentation skills and finalise marketing resources in order to showcase their technologies at the TeenTech event last week in London.
The judges and TeenTech visitors were hugely impressed by the amount of work all young people put into preparing their stands. Among various promotional materials and business products, we saw wristbands, posters, flyers, t-shirts, key rings – all customised to teams’ ideas. The visitors were free to use tablets or prototypes to see how each idea works.
Longitude Explorer’s stand was one of the busiest at the event!
Finalist BeeThere prototype being tested.
The all-girl team from Rendcomb College won £25,000 for the school as well as individual prizes including iPads or SamLab kits. Their idea, Displaced, is a mobile app which uses live data on homeless people and refugees collected from postings on social media accounts. With location data and notes provided by users, the app will allow charities to better coordinate the logistics of supporting vulnerable people around the world.
Keep-Me-Safe team from Sutton Grammar School was announced as the first runner up and won £5,000 for their school and individual prizes such as Raspberry Pi kits and Fit-Bits. Based on their own experience the team came up with the idea called Safety.net that enables teachers to see where their students are at all times thanks to wristbands and a simple app. That gives students on field trips and expeditions freedom to explore and adult guardians the ability to monitor their safety. Run using a Raspberry Pi, the absence of a screen means the battery lasts for several days without charging – ideal in a wilderness environment.
The Jeremy Team from Churston Ferrers Grammar School were named second place runner up winning £5,000 for the school and individual prizes. Fast Aid entry is a data collection and navigation tool to be located in ambulances which will help crews to check live data about nearby hospitals including details of available beds and facilities. The team were also named people’s choice winners by Teen Tech attendants.
We would like to congratulate all participants who put a great amount of work towards their product development and embraced the fact that the Longitude Explorer Prize aimed to provide practical learning opportunities for young people to develop STEM skills and explore satellite data application, as well as encourage students to develop entrepreneurship skills to address social issues.
If you are interested in next the Longitude Explorer Prize contact us at [email protected]
This blog post originally appeared on the Nesta website.