Milton Keynes Academy has won the Grand Final of the TMT Predictions Schools Challenge, hosted by Deloitte’s technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice.
Biometric wristband for mental health wins Deloitte TMT Predictions Schools Challenge
The UK-wide competition asked schools from low-income communities to enter teams to develop a technology-based solution to three challenges using themes from Deloitte’s annual TMT Predictions report. The student teams were asked to pitch their ideas to an expert panel of judges, made up of Deloitte partners and senior leaders from Amazon, Fujitsu, BT Openreach and Samsung.
Judges were impressed with the MK students’ innovative ‘BioBuddi’ wristband, designed to aid people with mental health issues. The wearable device uses optical scanners to measure various biological levels, including a patient’s heartrate, oxygen and pH levels, without breaking the skin. The students were praised for their handling of challenging questions from the judging panel, and their innovative approach to contact a Silicon Valley-based start-up currently working on the technology.
The two runners-up included last year’s winners Maria Fidelis school, from London, whose students pitched ‘Study Bulb’, an education app that paired with an Internet of Things (IoT) device to help students prepare and revise for exams. Whalley Range 11-18 High School, an all-girls team from Manchester, developed ‘teachAfrica’, a proposition which used ultra-fast connectivity to establish an interactive and mobile school network in Sierra Leone and other poor and remote areas.
The Deloitte TMT Predictions Schools Challenge was created in 2013 in a response to the lack of young people in the UK with the appropriate skills and interest to plug the skills gap in the technology, media and telecommunications sector. Specialists from Deloitte’s TMT practice coached students from schools across the UK to develop their ideas and hone presentation skills. All of the schools involved in the TMT Predictions Schools Challenge are part of the Deloitte Access programme, in collaboration with Teach First. The programme is just one component of Deloitte’s wider social impact strategy, One Million Futures.
Deborah Gockelen, director of business, enterprise and employability at the Milton Keynes Academy, the winning school, commented:“The TMT Predictions Schools Challenge gives students a fantastic introduction into the world of technology and business. The competition encourages students from a range of backgrounds to work as a team, develop their leadership skills and boost their confidence and self-esteem. I am tremendously proud of the MK students and grateful for the commitment and expertise provided by our Deloitte coaches.”
Sam Baker, Deloitte partner and lead for the TMT Predictions Schools Challenge, added: “This has been a fantastic final that has showcased the creativity and ambition from young people who are passionate about STEM and digital skills, the number one skills-shortage area in the UK. All three finalists gave impressive, mature pitches that identified real solutions for big social and economic problems.
“Congratulations to the students from MK Academy, whose idea to incorporate biometric technology to tackle what is a huge social issue demonstrated true innovation and entrepreneurial nous.”
About the TMT Predictions Schools Challenge
- This was the fourth annual TMT Predictions Schools Challenge, created by Deloitte in response to the lack of young people in the UK with the appropriate skills and interest to plug the skills gap in the technology, media and telecommunications sector;
- Students from Years 12 and 13 are asked to develop a technology-based solution to three challenges from Deloitte’s annual TMT Predictions report. All of the schools involved are part of the Deloitte Access programme, in collaboration with Teach First;
- Following competitive semi-final in February, three schools qualified for the Grand Final, which took place on 20th March 2017 in Deloitte’s London offices;
- The winning school, MK Academy, received a 3D-printed trophy and its students each received £50 of vouchers. Following the Grand Final, all of the finalists went for a surprise trip to the London Eye;
- Photographs are available on request.
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