On Friday, Maggie and Ali from TeenTech were joined by Adrien from Atkins who gave the pupils feedback on the buildings they’d created during the week as part of our TeenTech City of Tomorrow at Home programme.

It was another week of creative and thoughtful buildings, and we were presented with new ideas from imaginative pupils from all over the UK!

Our first building came from Ewan (aged 10 from Alcester) who designed the Bunker 3000, a residential building.

There is solar-powered glass at the front of all rooms which powers the whole house. The house would be built into hillsides (either natural or manmade) so it doesn’t use up green space.

Ewan

Maggie noted that, given the current situation, we’re all really really appreciating outside space right now, and loved that Ewan focussed on mental health in addition to the eco aspects of the project. Adrien was really impressed by the model itself and loved the modular approach to the building, and that it was highly self-sufficient. The abundance of gardens and green space for planting would help with food growing and mental health as well as protecting the natural habitat.

Our next building was called Aqua Fly and came from Joe (aged 10 from Stratford-Upon-Avon).

This is an airport that has pillars that connect down to the ocean seabed with the runway sitting above the sea. It has underwater fans that make hydroelectricity. It has two underwater tubes that people can view the sea marine life so its an aquarium and an airport. It would help educate people about the sea. It would have drones to shuttle people to the land. It would use algae to make the runways glow.

Joe

Adrien really liked how magical it would be to see the marine life. Ali and Maggie both commented that waiting in airports is the worst part about traveling by plane, but with Joe’s building it could end up being the best part of the trip! Maggie also appreciated how much thought Joe had but into the technology the airport would use, with face scanners, using drones to transport people to nearby cities, and using technology to sort and handle luggage efficiently.

Robyn (aged 11 from Hampshire) created the Stray City Creatures Mobile Pod.

My building is found in big cities and uses an app so that people can report stray animal sightings. The building finds the area with the most animals. It travels there and catches each animal, checks them for illness in the vet room then puts them in one of two of the pod enclosures. In the relocating room, it will either (if it is a cat or dog ) use technology to find the most suitable new home or (if it is a fox) it will find a small town with nature surrounding it. This is so the fox can decide to live in the natural habitat or continue its previous lifestyle in a safer, smaller town.

Robyn

Maggie commented on how she enjoys seeing her local wildlife, and also how animals going missing is a huge problem, especially within cities. Robyn’s ideas are great solutions to the problem, and she was impressed by the mobile aspect. Adrien loved how Robyn looked seriously at a problem and then considered the solution. He thought Robyn had created a very generous building. Adrien mentioned how his parents had lost their dog at an airport and how Robyn’s combination of mobility, technology and design could prevent this from happening in the future.

Clara (aged 11 from London) created the Transforming Lightning Building.

The building transforms lightning into light and heat energy. The building has a long, metal spike at the top so that it can attract lightning. It is located in a mountainous region, where lightning strikes more regularly. It transforms into light and heat energy, as people living in the village, would need more heat as it is often very cold in mountainous regions. The structure is covered in plants to make it more eco-friendly.

Clara

Adrien thought Clara had some great ideas. Lightning contains so much power (and looks beautiful). Currently it is difficult to capture, but if we could (and perhaps Clara will be the one to solve this!), the effects would be magnificent! Maggie suggested Clara takes a look at what MIT are doing in this area, and loved how Clara had taken a really bold idea and realised it in her project.

Alex (aged 9 from Nottingham) created the Water-Recycling Tower.

The building collects rainwater in a cylinder. The cylinder then propels the water down a slide. The water collects speed along the way. When it hits the wall at the bottom, it creates energy.

Alex

Maggie agreed with Alex that we don’t make enough use of water unlike houses in Norway that do more. Ali loved the idea of a portable version of this for each house and Adrien thought the idea would be so practical in the UK where we have a lot of rain! Adrien was also impressed by Alex’s use of CAD software to convey his vision to us, that’s a great skill to have that can be applied to many areas in the design, technology and engineering industries.

Oscar (aged 8) created the Eco House, and provided us with an awesome presentation video!

There is space underneath to cope with flooding. It is made of recycled steel. There is a vertical garden to promote oxygen, bees and mental wellbeing. On the roof are water butts, beehives, and a pad for drone deliveries Lights turn off automatically when not needed and taps are on for a set time too. Fingerprints and Irisscans open doors and windows to aid security. The water butts collect rain to flush the toilet. I have created a tall and thin building to maximise space for a growing population.

Oscar

Adrien thought this was one of the best models he’d ever seen and really wanted to live in Oscar’s creation. He really appreciated how self-sufficient the building is, and loved the idea of a drone pad (and referenced the work being done in Dubai around taxi drones). Maggie thought Oscar had catered for our most fundamental needs, whilst also addressing a large number of global and local challenges such as sustainability and flooding.

Jay (aged 9 from Burton-On-Trent) created the Rolleston Eco Tower.

The school is high rise as my village floods. It is ecofriendly and features an easily extendable pod system (which clicks together like lego). It is heated & cooled by water flowing from the base across the surfaces (like the Shard).

Jay

Maggie commented that a lot of headteachers would wish to have an expandable school to accommodate pupils when they go back after lockdown. She appreciated the ability for the school to grow and adjust with its modular capabilities. Adrien also felt the modular aspect was impressive, and thought it was amazing to have something so futuristic to add different sections and also liked how Jay uses biomimicry, being inspired by a tree.

Our final building came from Anya (aged 11 from London).

My building is a shelter which relies entirely on a windmill. I have recreated a windmill and attached it to the shelter. I have combined the two ideas of using windmills as if they are solar panels and directly attaching it to the shelter!

Anya

Maggie was in love with the stunning design and felt it was very eye-catching and felt alive! Adrien agreed that it was stunning to look at and that the cool technology makes it a showpiece. Adrien was impressed how Anya has thought about the issue when there is no wind or sun, combining multiple sources of energy, and even felt it could be transportable to be used in natural disaster areas, bringing aid around the world where needed.

It was another week of exciting designs, and innovations in technology and engineering in order to take on the challenges that we face on our planet.

If you would like to join our City of Tomorrow at Home programme, you can register at http://athome.teentechcity.com.