TDI Challenge: creative talent shines through

The Manufacturing Technologies Association’s (MTA) flagship Technology, Design and Innovation (TDI) Challenge competition for secondary school entrepreneurial STEM students has once again showcased the skills and imagination of the UK’s young engineers.

TDI Challenge 2021 winner Ella Freeman

The annual competition stands as a fantastic tribute to the next generation of technologists, together with their schools and teachers, a point the MTA’s expert judges were keen to stress.

Stewart Lane, of Renishaw, chair of both the MTA Education and Development Committee and the TDI judging panel said: “I am always impressed by the quality of TDI entries, and this year has been no exception. The standard was high with excellent supporting materials – a credit to everyone that entered.”

The 2021 TDI Challenge was open to all young people aged 16-19 and tasked them with the opportunity to showcase their creative talent to an industry that relies upon vision and innovation.

They had to come up with their own design for a new product or concept, explain its application and produce a video, no longer than two minutes, to demonstrate how and why their invention would benefit users.

They were free to enter their Design and Technology coursework from their school or college, or submit a completely different idea if they preferred.

The judges were delighted to announce their winners as:

1st Place: Ella Freeman – Henrietta Barnett School in London – Modular Mobility Aid: a recyclable modular mobility aid for those needing support or rehabilitation. Essentially it is three products in one and easily transforms from a walking frame into crutches or into a walking stick depending on the user’s needs and how they may change over time.

2nd Place: Nirmay Jadhav – Queen Elizabeth’s School in London – The Hex-Exsiccator: a filament dehydrator for 3D printing material. After letting the spools heat up, the silica gel absorbs the moisture and the filament quality improves leading to cleaner and more consistent prints.

3rd Place: Caitlyn Crisp - Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Edern in Cardiff – The Baitlyn Brush: a two-in-one toilet brush/bleach dispenser. With a design inspired by nature, the Baitlyn Brush is a recyclable, machine washable toilet brush which can dispense bleach at the point of contact in the toilet making it more effective and efficient at cleaning difficult to reach places.

The winner received a £200 Amazon voucher with £100 and £50 vouchers going to the runner-up and third place respectively. The top three also win a day out with the University of Wolverhampton Race Team, experiencing an F3 race day.

Additionally, their respective schools will also receive a voucher to purchase kit for the classroom from preferred D&T equipment suppliers.


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