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Philanthropy at the Heart of Students’ Believe Big Creations

TCA’s competitors in this year’s Believe Big challenge demonstrated their social conscience as they developed ideas to benefit others.

Teams from across all the Brooke Weston Trust’s secondary school have been busy preparing for the final of Believe Big, which encourages students to come up with innovative or life-changing ideas.

Following an in-school competition to select the teams to go through to the final in Corby, students had spent time developing their ideas and how to present them to the judges.

The first group - Books for Everyone – was made up of Katya Haggett,  Lacey Field and Oliwia Zyromska. They were keen to develop a model which ensures those with disabilities are still able to access and enjoy books.

Katya explained: “It features braille, a scratch and sniff and two speakers - one that reads like an audio book and one that makes sound effects from the scene, like a battle.

“We were thinking of how to help people around the world and many people with disabilities find it difficult to read, so to make it more enjoyable and easier to use, we would use a product with lots of added features.”

Olivia Cook and Betsy Bidwell came up Helping Hands, which won the Best Model category.

Olivia said: “It is a robot that goes around to the homeless. Hostels can buy it so people can register their biometrics and fingerprints. It is run by GPS and it goes round to the homeless, bringing them hot meals, drinks and snacks.”

Betsy added: “There are so many homeless people who are in need of food and water. I thought it was a problem so we invented Helping Hands to try and help that.”

The Helping Hands team won Best Model

Concepts from other schools within the Trust included ideas to remove plastics from the ocean, assess bugs on trees and use solar power in different instruments and devices. Others also decided to target the homeless with a range of interventions.

Each of the teams had worked for weeks on their presentations, models and stalls and the final was their chance to explain their ideas or products to judges from Brooke Weston Trust’s Central Team.

Trust Finance Director Debbie Tysoe, Senior Operations Manager Tim Laws and Chris Stewart, Senior Finance and HR manager toured the stands and asked detailed questions before announcing the finalists.

David Harkin, of 7 Billion Ideas who ran the competition said: “It has been fantastic when you get to work with the schools from year to year and the standard has just risen, not only from the prototypes, but the stalls, the posters and also the uniqueness of the ideas. We really encouraged the students and teachers this year to really get carried away with their imaginations and that has shown here today, that people have really genuinely ‘Believed Big’ when it comes to their ideas. The models have been exceptional. The students have really embraced the challenge and made some fantastic prototypes.”

John Henrys, the Trust’s Head of Analytics, System Performance and Innovation, said: “We have learned a lot of lessons so this year’s ideas were bigger, the quality of the stalls was fantastic and clearly a lot of time had been spent on the presentations and the way that the students were able to explain their ideas. There is a real awareness in the students of what some of the social problems are that need addressing.”

Well done to the team from Kettering Science Academy for scooping first prize for their idea of growing vegetables in space.