What a brilliant day at The Emirates!

Enthusiastic students carried model buildings on planes, coaches, tubes, trains and buses as they made their way from all parts of the UK for the very first national showcase of the TeenTech ‘City of Tomorrow’. All credit to teams whose models made it safely all the way from Scotland and Wales! Hosted by TeenTech director Dallas Campbell and CEO, Maggie Philbin, it was a celebration of future engineering and technology talent and a day to remember. You can see all the pictures from the day here.

It was a tightly packed day. Students worked alongside engineers in special workshops with teachers saying they especially valued ‘the opportunity to interact with people from a variety of technical backgrounds which really got the pupils thinking about the endless possibilities associated with technology’.

Thayer Prime, who judged the innovative models, all made out of recycled materials, said it was a fantastic day full of enthusiastic inventors, speakers and teachers. ‘Hearing our next generation architects talk about their creations and ideas was very inspiring and thought provoking. From undersea eco-hotels to gigantic trampolines that protect the homeless, everything I saw was well considered and built by dedicated children who were extremely articulate in getting their ideas across. A firm favourite of mine was a rainbow tower where the designers had also explored social housing: how marvellous to know 10 year olds are thinking of these ideas. A wonderful experience all round pulled off brilliantly by the TeenTech team, an honour to be a part of and hard as nails to judge – exactly as it should be!”

Gordon Bell from Willmott Dixon added, ” I was amazed by the brilliant construction and ideas- especially the team who designed a building to cope with both flooding and hurricane conditions”

All students who responded to our online survey said taking part in the project helped them understand more about what people who work in engineering actually do. It was great to hear students like Isabelle from Park House School say the experience ‘opened my eyes to look for a career in engineering and also inspired me to be very imaginative and creative’

Sarah, a teacher who brought a team from Barnsley said “We had an absolutely fantastic time and our students loved every minute of the day as did the staff. The experience was superb and unlike any other, since the event I’ve had a lot of other students from other year groups wanting to join STEM and be part of future competitions”

Karen from Holy Trinity School said, ‘My students remained animated (!!!) all the way home, discussing what they had seen and experienced. The venue was near-genius, the activities great fun (oh, did they learn too? What a Brucie…), they thoroughly enjoyed seeing the work from other schools, and being part of such an event is an experience that will never leave them. I cannot express how grateful I am for this: the impact on our pupils has been tangible.’

Judge Kate Bevan said, “I was hugely impressed and inspired by all the brilliant and inventive ideas I saw and by all the hard work that had gone into turning the ideas into such excellent presentations. I was particularly impressed by the joined-up thinking and by the thoughtful engaging with real issues I saw during the day, and I came away full of hope for the future: if it’s in the hands of the young people I met, it’s in good shape.”

We also heard from parents who thanked us for an initiative which they described as life changing. “The whole day was so well organised and Harry has come home bubbling with the stories of today. I can’t thank you enough for providing this once in a lifetime opportunity’

With TeenTech, it’s never ‘once in a lifetime’ and we can promise Harry and the 249 others that this is just the beginning!

Huge thanks go to all our judges and activity providers from Atkins, Gensler, Thayer Prime, Arup, Royal Town Planning Institute and to the generous prizes provided by Kano, Maplin and JVCKenwood .

If your school, community centre or library would like to take part in TeenTech City of Tomorrow, please register here for details.