2017's Design Ventura winners from Harrogate Grammar School
2017's Design Ventura winners from Harrogate Grammar School

Students Ace Ventura

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Last month, the Design Museum announced Harrogate Grammar School as the winner of its annual Design Ventura prize, a nationwide competition which saw more than 10,000 students compete from over 240 schools.

The winning concept was a product called Aqua Hooks, a simple device which easily attaches a bottle of water to your bag. The idea was thought up by Oliver Bean, Harris Calvert, Seb Cassidy, Ben Jackson, and Jonty Trott, who will now work with professional designers to see it launched in the Design Museum’s shop. They will oversee and direct all aspects of production, from packaging to promotion, and once on the shelves, all proceeds will go to Harrogate Grammar School’s chosen charity.

Design Ventura is an annual competition from the Design Museum, challenging students aged 13 to 16 to meet a real-life design brief. In partnership with Deutsche Bank’s youth engagement programme, it develops students’ design and enterprise skills in a practical context, preparing them for life outside the classroom with improved confidence and transferable skills. Since its launch in 2010, it has had over 47,000 participants nationwide and is committed to delivering a programme which combines “innovation, entrepreneurial thinking and team collaboration” among young people, something which is crucial in today’s business climate.

An independent evaluation of the project, carried out by Goldsmith’s University, found that ninety percent of those who get involved, from teachers to students, feel that the scheme has a positive impact. Overall, it increases confidence, improves resilience and encourages students to think more widely about what they can achieve through study. Both students and teachers also reported that the project raises the overall profile of Design and Technology subjects within schools.

This year’s prize for second place went to Reepham High School and College, Norfolk, for their interactive and imaginative toy which uses animals cut-outs to produce fun characters. Third place was awarded to Endon High School for their changeable puzzle, showcasing London’s most popular landmarks. You can find out more about the prize here.

At Kids in Museums, we love to share success stories, especially when they feature children and young people excelling in the industry. Got a story? Get in touch at [email protected] – we’d love to hear from you!

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