Student Showcase Prototypes in Regional Final of Premier Farnell Tech Challenge

Students from eleven schools and colleges in Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale and Wakefield will come together to take part in the regional final of the Premier Farnell Technology Challenge on Tuesday 5 December in Leeds.


Each winning team will take to the stage to present to a panel of judges as they showcase the working prototype of a piece of technology that they have developed to meet the brief of helping someone with a physical or sensory impairment.

Completing a series of 11 competitions, which involved around 300 students, each team had to compete within their own schools and colleges to be named as one of the winners to take part in the regional showcase event.

Judges from Premier Farnell, Leeds Beckett University,, Tunstall, Arris, Foundation for Digital Creativity, LightStart, Egton Digital, Disability Services Team at Leeds City Council, InHealthcare, Aspire CBS, O2, Ayup, PSI Volition, RNIB, Team17 and RabbIT chose the following prototypes to be submitted to the regional finals:


  • Bradford College with a portable buddy that talks to dementia sufferers

  • Titus Salt School with Raspberry Blinds that are light and sound automated to assist people with arthritis

  • Shipley College with a Dementiaid that uses visual recognition to inform a person with dementia if a visitor is known or safe

  • Hanson Academy that will showcase a temperature sensor to provide advice on clothing suggestions for those with dementia.

  • Wakefield College with a water level indicator for the visually impaired to be used in the bath or sink

  • Prince Henry’s Grammar School with an automated pill dispenser for the visually impaired

  • Horsforth School with Arthr’ an arthritis friendly pet food dispenser

  • Benton Park School with an automated pet water bowl with smart water level sensor

  • Ryburn Valley High School with an arthritis friendly touch sensitive lamp with possible motion sensing capability

  • Calderdale College with a light sensor for non-verbal users to communicate if it is too bright

  • Lightcliffe Academy with a seat for people with complex needs that will detect if users have moved into an uncomfortable position and will alert a carer

The Premier Farnell Technology Challenge aims to raise aspirations and help young people aged 16 - 18 years explore careers in digital and tech, an industry which is set to grow by 15% in this region over the next decade.

Steve Carr, Global Head of Marketing for Premier Farnell said: “This is the third year we have run this challenge and once again we are overwhelmed with the creativity the students have shown in responding to the challenge. As a global technology business based in Leeds, we are committed to introducing the next generation to technology and the opportunities that it presents. The quality of the entries we have received clearly shows that Yorkshire is growing some real talent in this area.”

The challenge is organised with local social enterprise Ahead Partnership which has supported over 100,000 young people to date with real-life, hands-on experiences designed by local employers.

The competitions are part of the FutureJobs programme, a fully-funded service from aspire-igen, Leeds City Region LEP and the European Social Fund.

Stephanie Burras CBE, Ahead Partnership’s Chief Executive, said: “Over two million people work in digital in the UK and in this region, where demand is ever-increasing, it’s imperative that we help young people see the diverse opportunities available. We’re delighted to be helping Premier Farnell directly tackle this demand by challenging young people’s perceptions of the tech industry, helping them develop their creativity and focus on innovation. We’re really looking forward to seeing all the winning designs.”

Sarah Thomas, Access and Widening Participation Manager at Leeds Beckett University, said: “Leeds Beckett University is delighted to be involved in the Premier Farnell Technology Challenge. The project will equip participants with the creative and technical skills needed to pursue successful careers within the industry and enables our undergraduate students to share their expertise and gain valuable experience of working with young people in our region.”

For further details about the Premier Farnell Technology Challenge please visit:


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Farnell Global is a fast and reliable distributor of products and technology for electronic and industrial system design, maintenance and repair.  From research and design through prototype to production, Farnell helps its customers access the products and services they need 24/7.  With more than 80 years of experience, 47 localised websites, and a dedicated team of over 3,500 employees, Farnell provides every component its customers need to build the technology of tomorrow.

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