Young innovators win national award

Children from a Horsham school were judged top innovators in a national competition.

The youngsters from years four to six at St Mary’s School took the Primary School winners award in the final of PA Consulting Group’s annual coding competition.

Nine teams of finalists presented their inventions to an expert judging panel including Emma Payne, head of IT delivery at John Lewis and Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC technology correspondent. The competition challenged participants to use a Raspberry Pi to produce innovations that could improve the lives of people who have conditions that limit their ability to do things the rest of us take for granted.

The St Mary’s team devised what judges described as an ingenious door entry system, paired with a wearable device that helps deaf and blind people identify visitors to their residence. Their project demonstrates how communication is performed by the sense of touch using “wearables.”

Judges said the team won because it got to grips with the project and had great communication skills which made it so simple for the judges to understand. The team had learnt coding skills such as python and used a lot of sensors in its project which impressed the judges. Members showed creativity and team spirit and even showcased new ideas of how they can develop their project even further. The judges were Rob Elsey, Executive Director for Technology and CIO at the Bank of England, Emma Payne, Head of IT Delivery at John Lewis, Adam Jezard, Commissioning Editor at Financial Times Special Reports, Rory Cellan-Jones, Technology Correspondent for the BBC,Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer at the Home Office, Olly Stephens,  Lead Architect of the Technology Services Group ARM and Tom Hartley, a student at Imperial College London and an ex-PA Raspberry Pi winner. To find out more about the competition, visit:

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