3 July 2016
An Ascot schoolgirl has been highly commended for her innovative concept designed to help dementia sufferers at a national technology awards for teenagers founded by the former Tomorrow’s World presenter Maggie Philbin.
Heathfield School Lower Sixth Former Millie Geddes beat off tough opposition from hundreds of teenagers across the UK to win through to the national final of the TeenTech Awards 2016. The TeenTech Awards challenge youngsters aged between 11-18 years-old to use technology to solve real-world problems by researching current markets and gleaning advice from industry experts.
The awards were set up to excite young people about the ever-expanding career possibilities available in the fields of science, engineering and technology, with TeenTech events taking place across the UK throughout the year – seeing hundreds of schools benefit from hands-on exhibits and challenges.
Millie’s design for an Alzheimer’s App to help sufferers manage their own needs and give them vital independence was nominated in the ‘Best Innovation’ category, winning a prestigious ‘Highly Commended’ in the final, making her the first ever recipient of a ‘Highly Commended’ at TeenTech.
‘Millie’s App works by a combination of wearable technology and sensors,’ explained Rushi Millns, Heathfield School Subject Leader in ICT, ‘Her concept and design was so strong because the technology exists to implement it but it has not necessarily been applied before.’
Heathfield Head Jo Heywood said: ‘In a year at Heathfield which has seen the opening of our state-of-the-art STEM facility (Science Technology Engineering and Maths), I am absolutely delighted that one of our students has won through to the TeenTech final with a truly worthy wearable technology design which could change lives. She deserves her Highly Commended prize.’
Millie travelled to the Royal Society in London for the final where she was one of 120 teenagers presenting their pioneering ideas to a team of judges made up of celebrity science presenters, journalists and eminent academics including co-founder of TeenTech Maggie Philbin, Professor Brian Cox, BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, Channel 4 News’ Geoff White, science and tech reporter Dallas Campbell, Gemma Morris from SKY, Fran Scott, CBBC Science Presenter, and Jo Johnson MP.
All the teenagers also had the opportunity to showcase their designs in front of the businesses and individuals who can help commercialise them and make them a reality.
With National Women in Engineering day coming up just after the TeenTech Finals, TeenTech also announced more girls than boys had reached the final held at the Royal Society in London – 75 girls and 69 boys – and that 8 of the 20 category prizes were won by teams of girls. A TeenTech spokesman said: ‘These positive female numbers clearly demonstrate that girls are just as enthusiastic as boys when it comes to developing tech ideas that will change our world. Over 800 girls across the UK participated in the competition.’
Professor Brian Cox, said: ‘I always look forward seeing what the students at TeenTech come up with and I’m never disappointed. We are seeing the next generation of scientists and engineers, and it fills me with optimism.’
‘The Awards offer an incredible opportunity for businesses, and academics to get a genuine insight into just how entrepreneurial and tech-savvy the youngsters of today can prove to be,’ said TeenTech’s founder and CEO, Maggie Philbin.