Industry Experts Judge Classroom Competition

The first winners have been announced in a competition challenging school children to design a classroom of the future

Design experts from NBS, Ryder Architecture and Gateshead College have collaborated with year 9 pupils from three North East schools to take part in the “Future Classroom” contest.

The objective of the project was to encourage young people to think about how the region and its built environment will change over the next 20 years and what a sustainable classroom would look like for pupils in 2030.

This week, groups of Year 9 art students from Royal Grammar School, in Newcastle, were first up to present their designs to the judging panel, all competing for the winning title.

Judges from Gateshead College curriculum leader Craig Carlin, teacher Raju Noor and PlanBEE student Conal Wade said they were “blown away” by the creative ideas every student had come up with and that “everyone was a winner” in their eyes.

But it was the collective imaginations of Edit Fisher, Jemima Hawkins, Pia Gupta, Kanika Modi and Harsha Menon – all aged 14 – who went under the group name Infinity who were crowned as winners on the day. They designed a natural, green eco friendly classroom built around the concept of the Polynesian plant.

Following the judging, the students had the chance to tour the Great Exhibition displays within Ryder and NBS buildings. Professionals from NBS and Ryder were also on hand to be interviewed by the students on their chosen career, what their role entails and the skills needed.

Chris Toon, deputy principal from Gateshead College said, “The classroom of the future competition is a fun activity that tests the ability of young people to work together collaboratively. It is of particular benefit to those studying STEM subjects, to help them gain skills such as team work, problem solving, design and creative thinking, project management and self-evaluation”.

Stephen Hamil, director of research and innovation at NBS added, “We hope that from this we can inspire the next generation of architects, engineers and constructors. We can give the children visiting the exhibition an insight and the right information to show them how rewarding a career in the construction industry really is.

“The next generation are the ones we need to provide these opportunities for, as they are the ones that are crucial to driving our future economy.”

Guy Pike, communications coordinator at Ryder, said, “The innovative ideas shown by the pupils were exceptional, it was fantastic to see how enthusiastic and comfortable they were during their presentations.  These sessions undoubtedly attribute to their learning and hopefully inspire the pupils to consider the many career options within the construction industry.”

Classroom competition
Classroom competition

The NBS trail stop will let pupils see inside one of the North East’s coolest offices to find out how emerging technologies are changing the way we build.  They will explore the old and the new features of the Old Post Office building, see some of the best North East buildings come to life through Augmented Reality (AR) technology and discover the latest technologies that are transforming the construction world, as well as getting the chance to design their own home of the future.

Ryder’s Horse to Hyperloop exhibition allows visitors to explore the high speed transport of tomorrow inside a building with a fascinating link to the travel of yesteryear.  Activities include becoming a city architect for the day by designing a bridge to the future, modelling a North East building to take home and interacting with the pioneering Northern Arc, the super highspeed future of transport.

Jarrow School and Mortimer School will be up next to present their classroom designs to judges in the coming weeks.

NBS and Ryder will see up to 120 schools and 3,600 children come through their doors as part of the Schools Innovation Trail.

NBS and Ryder are on the Great Exhibition of the North Innovation trail from 22nd June to 9th September.

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