Three hundred teenagers gathered at the Hampshire Court hotel in Basingstoke, UK, last week to find out more about how technology impacts the world around them in the latest TeenTech event, organised in conjunction with educational charity Basingstoke Consortium. The students worked in teams to develop, and then pitch to the audience, a technology invention that would make life better, simpler, safer or more fun; participated in a range of technology challenges; and had the chance to discuss technology careers with local employers.
Several Verizon employees helped out at the event as ‘Business Ambassadors’ – helping the children navigate the experiments, and giving help and advice. Business Ambassadors are often the first people the students have ever met who work in STEM careers, and their involvement has a great impact on boosting the students’ knowledge and understanding of the contemporary business world.
Verizon also sponsored the ideas wall at the event, which collated ideas from the children on how science and technology could change the world for the better by 2050. Students could think about how technology might help improve the planet, travel, buildings, clothes, food, sport and much more, and were also free to imagine technology and science that does not yet exist.
Shane Sura, Verizon’s Executive Director of International Network Operations, presented prizes for the 3 best ideas on the wall at the end of the day – and also gave a ‘special mention’ for one additional idea. He commented: “This was such a great experience for both myself and the rest of the Verizon team. All the students we met were very enthusiastic, and clearly enjoying their day. As for the Ideas Wall, judging was really difficult – there were some fantastic ideas, and loads to choose from! At the end of the day, we chose the three ideas that were most clearly articulated, clearly outlined the benefit that the technology would bring, and why this was needed. Well done to all involved.”
The winning ideas were:
- Microscopic bots that will remove bad cells and bacteria and help accelerate cell repair and renewal;
- A machine that would use photosynthesis to convert vehicle pollutants into oxygen;
- A heart rate monitor that generates electricity with every beat of your heart;
And the honourable mention went to:
- Magnetic car bumpers to prevent car accidents by repelling vehicles.
Shane continued: “At Verizon, we believe that helping children think about the promise of the digital world is extremely important – digital skills are the future. Events like TeenTech help introduce children to the wide variety of potential careers available to experts in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects – and also show very clearly that science and technology are fun!”