Yorkshire School Children In Semi Finals of Longitude Explorer Prize

Yorkshire School Children In Semi Finals of Longitude Explorer Prize

Five teams from Yorkshire have been named semi-finalists in the Longitude Explorer Prize. The prize, from Nesta Challenges and funded by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, calls on young people aged 11-16 to invent tech solutions to some of the big challenges of our time. The winning team will be awarded £25,000 for their school or youth group in July.

Ideas include a robot turtle that cleans up beaches and could one day help tackle plastic pollution. A ‘Dementia Prevention Phone’ that uses family members’ voices to help someone stay mentally active. And an app that detects online bullying. These are just three of the entries that have made it thorugh to the semi-finals.

Longitude Explorer Prize

“Breaking the boundaries”

Nesta Challenges and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have named 60 semi-finalists from secondary schools and youth groups from across the UK. Breaking the boundaries of what is possible, these teams showcased how new technologies can be used to create innovative solutions. Themes included climate change, ageing populations and sustainable transport.

Other ideas include a bin that scans people’s rubbish and tells them what can be recycled. And an AI therapy dog has been designed by autistic children for autistic children to help them in social situations.

Owing to the high volume and quality of entrants, 10 new places in the final have been created. And schools and youth groups are being invited to enter innovative ideas before the closing deadline of 14 February 2020. Entries must feature inventive and innovative solutions that use AI, machine learning or technology. It will also allow entrants who were unsuccessful the first time around to apply again.

Longitude Explorer Prize


Constance Agyeman, Head of International Development and Communities, Nesta Challenges said:“The ingenuity and inventiveness of the young teams who have already entered the Longitude Explorer Prize has been astounding. From tech-enabled toilets to track your vital signs to robot turtles that seek out and pick litter from the beach, the semi-finalists announced today demonstrate the capability and genius that is brimming over in our nation’s young people.

The Longitude Explorer Prize is an initiative that supports young people to learn creatively about STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). And it educates them with important entrepreneurial life-skills that do not usually get taught in the classroom.

The semi-finalists from the first round will attend an all-day event in London at the end of January. There they will take part in workshops to help develop their ideas to become one of 40 finalists. They will receive resources, mentoring and support to develop their concepts in to a product, with the grand prize of £25,000 will be awarded in July. Three runners-up will also receive £10,000.

The competiton is completely free to enter and take part in, with resources available to supervising teachers and adults.

For more details about all of the semi-finalists announced today and to find out how to enter a team ahead of 14 February 2020, visit longitudeexplorer.challenges.org or search: Longitude Explorer.


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