On March 29, 15 teams from 5 schools across the country made it to Milton Keynes Academy to compete for the winning title of the Change 2019 competition. The event was launched by the combined effort of 7billionideas and Creative Learning Trust, a three-year partnership that promotes innovative learning and teaching strategies in schools.
During the competition, young participants were asked to use the knowledge they gathered inside the classrooms to devise unexplored solutions towards social issues that mattered to them.
Craig Avieson, the Executive Headteacher of Wroughton Academies, described the process that led students to the final:
‘A lot of impact is made with the preceding weeks in schools. All of Year 5 were able to create and present their ideas in classes and the intra-school competition then selected those to be represented. For us, we spent almost two weeks (afternoons) developing concepts/ideas and product design. The children found it very inspiring and it had a purpose. Some of the children eventually selected were children who did not always respond well to more traditional learning.’
The winners of the competition, Sight Heroes from Wroughton Academies, developed an idea of technologically-enabled spectacles that can assist partially blind individuals by projecting light directly on the cornea of the eye. While the bar was set high, other stalls demonstrated an equal passion and creativity. Teams sought innovative solutions to increase public access to education and healthcare, alleviate environmental pollution or minimize the social exclusion of disabled and homeless people.
As Craig Avieson further commented:
‘I think I am always amazed with some of the inspiring ideas that young children can think of using their imagination – an auditory GPS for blind people was just one where children had really tried to think and empathize barriers, and then create a product to address these.’
Over 5,000 students have now taken part in the Change competition since its first launch in 2017 and we‘re delighted to see this number grow each year. Our moto – think big and be creative in everything you do – sounds loud and clear whenever a new set of teams come together to explore how they can contribute to future change.