inarik - stock.adobe.com
PA Consulting has announced the winners of its 2018 Raspberry Pi competition focused on asking school children to develop technologies that could change the world.
The sixth annual competition asked children from school age to college students to invent technologies that could save the planet while using a Raspberry Pi computer.
The hope is that the competition will encourage young people to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem).
Anita Chandraker, digital services team lead at PA Consulting Group, said the competition is designed to support both the teaching and learning of Stem subjects in the UK’s curriculum, and that this year’s entries were “astounding”.
“We are delighted to have received a record number of entries to the competition this year; a reflection of the ever growing importance of coding as a critical skill to support innovation,” she said.
Nine finalist teams from three age categories presented their Raspberry Pi-based inventions to nine industry judges.
Competition winners of 2018
Ysgol Deganwy, Conwy
For the primary school category aimed at academic years four to six, the winning entry created Recycle Michael, an interactive rubbish bin that uses a barcode scanner to display information about packaging to help users to understand how best to recycle it.
The judges chose this team as the winner because of the clarity and simplicity of the idea, and the potential to scale the idea across the country.
For the secondary category aimed at academic years seven to 11, the winning team created a system of infrared beams designed to save energy from streetlights by only turning streetlights on when the infrared is interrupted, which would indicate there was someone walking nearby.
The judges chose this entry as the winner because of their involvement with other technologies to gain the results they wanted.
The College of Richard Collyer
For the secondary and college category for years 12 and 13, the winning team created a portable charger that uses wind and solar power to charge rechargeable AA batteries with the potential to produce models which could charge larger items.
The judges chose this entry as the winner because their invention used mostly recycled materials and were very clear when explaining the technical details of their project.
Other entries that were submitted and reached finalist stage, but did not win the competition, included a game which educates children to switch off appliances to save energy, a system which monitors the temperature of a household and tweets the house owner if the house gets too hot or cold, and a water meter which measures how much water a person uses when they shower to educate them on the environmental impact of water usage.
Though the UK government introduced the computing curriculum in 2014 to encourage children to learn skills in technology and coding, there are still a lack of children choosing to take Stem subjects later on in education.
A number of initiatives, such as PA’s Raspberry Pi competition, have been created to try and encourage more children to take an interest in Stem subjects.