The month-long project challenged nearly 300 pupils from the Huddersfield school to design – from scratch – something that would help people live a healthier lifestyle in 2019.
The task itself also had another underlying aim – to encourage students to become creative thinkers and choose design and technology (D&T) as part of their GCSE options.
Since working more closely with design professionals in the education sector, The Engine Room has discovered that – particularly during the time when pupils select their GCSEs – some young people across the nation are being urged to opt for more ‘traditionally academic’ subjects such as English, mathematics and science over design-based classes.
As a result and with fewer numbers taking up D&T, the subject itself is at risk of being removed from the UK school curriculum altogether – something The Engine Room wants to actively discourage.
To unleash the power of design thinking among young people, the challenge kicked-off in January 2019 and The Engine Room’s founder Darren Evans joined the judging panel to examine the competitors’ perfected projects last week.
Each winning creation was announced during a special awards ceremony in the West Yorkshire school’s hall – with the victors all receiving their prizes from the Huddersfield Examiner’s Print Content Editor Martin Shaw.
And now, we can reveal Salendine Nook’s top projects! These were:
• Sleep pod
• All book’ – a school computer/text book system
• Healthy Food posters
• FLIX – a flask and mixer to make smoothies ‘on the go’
• A calorie counter app
• ‘Smart’ trainers
• Healthy eating advent style calendar
• A healthy eating cookbook and ‘support centre’ app
• Calorie Counter
• Healthy Cubes (dice game)
• Cancer Awareness/Fashion Design
• A hydroponic nursery to improve wellbeing
Darren said: “I have been immensely impressed with the level of quality and creative design each pupil has put into their projects. It was so important to see them ‘thinking big’ because that’s what design is all about – challenging how things have always been done and making them even better.
“D & T subjects at school shouldn’t only appeal to budding graphic designers – the design discipline evokes a range of attributes other subjects can’t such as collaborative thinking, observation and creative problem-solving skills to make people’s lives easier.
“It’s vital we keep encouraging young people to embrace design thinking in their everyday lives as well as actively pursue design-based GCSEs so they can use these skills to become the next generation of creative thinkers.”