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V & A Museum Innovate

As part of Flexible Learning Day last term, half of year 8 had the opportunity to take part in the V&A Museum Innovate, an annual National Schools Challenge, asking students in KS3 to work in teams to design a solution to a real-world problem. 

V&A Innovate gives students the opportunity to experience the power of design and technology in solving some of the world's biggest problems. 

As part of the challenge we explored materials & problem solve using plastic waste as a starting point, with a focus on the V & A brief: Renew: How might we give objects, materials and spaces a second life?  

We then chose the most innovative ideas and groups from the day, worked with students to develop their ideas further and the work was then entered into the national V & A competition.


Following the deadline, work submitted was judged by a panel at the V & A and individual feedback was sent to each school. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in going further in the competition but the feedback we had was really encouraging, especially as of 2 of the groups narrowly missed being selected for the final.


The student work selected for competition entry were: Brooke Jones, Aiden Skinner, Ibhalukho Inyinbor & Jacob Winters with a design for a survival jacket made from waste plastic bags:


“This group have shown excellent research into waste in their local area, exploring a global issue on a local level. The group shows good understanding of different material properties and techniques for reusing plastic. They show an understanding of user needs. The drawings, prototypes and making instructions demonstrate design development skills and iteration. Overall, the judges thought it was a promising idea that had potential to help people and planet. It was a difficult judging process, and this team was close to being put through”


Jamie Hebbron, Leonita Haziri, Ruby Ford & Lucy Flagg designed an irrigation system using water bottles.


Group 3: Tiarna Birch, Madison Reeves, Christopher Moroney & Dylan Barnes designed a take on tic-tac-toe that could be used both UK and more deprived areas using fused plastic bottle tops. “They show lots of creativity and critical thinking in their ideas generation and evaluation. The judges liked how the group designed an initial plant pot prototype and then built on that idea through developing further drawings and more complex models.”


All students that took part in the challenge as part of the Flexible Learning Day will receive a certificate of participation from the V & A and we are looking forward to seeing what the challenges will be for next year.



“The judges liked how this group framed the problem, researching a global problem of plastic waste and zooming in to look at it on a local level at school.

 The judges really liked this idea, it shows creative and playful reuse of materials and is potentially a design that can be made easily by the user, given the right tools. The judges would like this team to know that this design was very close to be selected as a finalist.”

And finally, students Jacob Pilkington, Macy Mustoe & Emily Foster with innovative plastic bag fusing & weaving to create a more fashionable bag for life.

“The judges liked how this group used secondary research into plastic waste globally and locally to understand the problem they are tackling – the inclusion of the image of waste from a tiny stretch of the Severn is particularly powerful. The group show great material exploration and consideration through their investigations and have then focused on the fusing technique they felt worked best.”