Wildern STEM students reach Tech contest semi-finals

Wildern STEMginers Sophie Power (L) and Hannah Johnson. Pic: Beth Crockatt Photography

A team from a Hedge End school has been named a semi-finalist in the Longitude Explorer Prize a competition for young people to create and develop tech solution to the major challenges our world faces.

The STEMgineers team from Wildern Secondary School’s STEM club could now be in line for a £25,000 prize from Nesta Challenges  – supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – that will be awarded to the best team of 11-16 year olds that develop a tech solution to help tackle climate change, support an ageing population, encourage healthier living or make transport greener.

Wildern’s STEMgineers earned its place in the semi-finals with AISE – standing for Artificial Intelligence to Support the Elderly –  a robot in the form of a cat or dog to support mental, physical and emotional health disorders and general loneliness.

The students took part in a big meet-up of all of the 60 semi-final teams at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where they learnt about coding, artificial intelligence and presentation skills to help them develop their idea and make it a reality over the next six months.

Other ideas on show at the event include a bin that scans people’s rubbish informing them of what could be recycled, an AI therapy dog designed by autistic children for autistic children to help them in social situations, a device that reduces congestion through AI by adjusting traffic lights in real time, and a ‘Wastebot’ toilet that tracks the bodies vital signs.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said:

“I have been hugely impressed by the quality and creativity showcased by the semi-finalists of the Longitude Explorer Prize. The young people involved in the competition have the potential to become the future scientists and engineers that will grow our reputation as a world leader in science and innovation.”

For more details about all of the semi-finalists and to find out how to enter a team ahead of 14 February 2020, visitlongitudeexplorer.challenges.org