Clever kids come up with smart ways to use new technologies

The annual "What would you use THAT for?" competition saw children come up with some fantastic ideas for using new technology.

The event was held by i-Teams at the Institute for Manufacturing as part of the Cambridge Science Festival.


Children of all ages were asked to think up uses for new products such as:

Among the three winners was five-year-old Isabel Saffron Booth from King’s Ely school, who suggested the sound recognition system could be used to tell her if someone is playing her new flute so that she can stop them. Owen Riches, 11, from Beyton Middle School, won by saying he would improve the cat flap, which uses identity microchips (the sort vets put into cats’ necks) , “so that you know which cats have gone in and out and whether your cat is missing”. Rachel O'Sullivan, also 11, from Histon and Impington Junior School would like to see the LightTouch projector used as an interactive cookery book, “so you can watch the instructions in the kitchen while you cook”.


The runners-up are Ben Stoneman, age 10, from Houghton Primary School who would use the sound detector to detect “when your guinea pigs are hungry, because they squeak when they want food"; and Alex Henderson who would use it to detect persistent buzzing which will indicate bee swarming, adding: "I would connect it to alarms so it would warn me".


The winners will receive science-related gadgets, and both winners and runners-up will receive certificates.


Other technologies on show included Rubik’s cube-solving robots built from LEGO and powered by ARM processors and some microchip components from ARM, used to demonstrate how microchips are manufactured and put together from masks and silicon wafers. The children could also try writing programs for the Raspberry Pi, and to show the Raspberry Pi team their own programs that they had written at home.


For more information on i-Teams visit this link.

Date published

11 April 2013

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