Young innovators step up to the Maker Challenge header image

Young innovators step up to the Maker Challenge 

Berkeley Foundation has been working with our Strategic Partner Imperial College London since 2017, funding their Maker Challenge programmes for 11 - 18 year olds in London's White City community.

The programmes aims to reach young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and are designed to spark young people's interest in STEM learning and careers, giving them opportunities that are no longer offered in most schools and access to cutting edge technology.

The Maker Challenge culminates in a competition between the finished prototypes, and this year the Foundation's Programme Officer Josephine Larcher was part of the judging panel. The projects were all incredibly innovative and forward-thinking, giving the judges much food for thought.

Joint winners were Nadia (17) with Vender Bender, a retro-inspired, gamified vending machine, and Nina (15) with Moonwalkers, wall-walking trainers with interchangeable soles. Nadia impressed the judges with the design and build of her prototype and was commended for her excellent iterative development. Nina's project was complimented by the judges as creative, eco-friendly and a great example of technology and design.

Nina comments:
"My experience of the Maker Challenge was great. As someone interested in design, the Maker Challenge has shown me the vast opportunities in STEM regarding design and has made me reconsider what I would like to pursue when I'm older."

Pablo took home second place with Silencio Mute Mask, a facemask designed to enable the wearer to have private conversations in crowded spaces. The judges felt that Pablo's project was really original, yet very topical, and he had made excellent considerations of the comfort as well as the practicalities and technology within his mask.

In third place came Alise with Fingerprint Lock, a fingerprint detector that is attached to zips on clothing, bags or other personal items to prevent pickpocketing. The judges felt that this was highly original, well thought out and developed along the duration of the programme.

Josephine says:
"It was hugely inspiring to see the finished prototypes, and find out how the young people have taken their ideas through the process. Their creativity and technological abilities have the potential to launch them into careers in design and technology, and I hope to see some of these inventions on the market in the future."

We are delighted to announce that our partnership with Imperial College London has been renewed for another three years, and will continue to support young innovators across West London.