Local school students get inventive in Maker Challenge


Fahreen, who won first prize for her project Snorz

Young people from the White City area had the opportunity to showcase their making and inventing skills through Imperial’s Maker Challenge.

Throughout the summer, pupils from local schools have been developing their own prototypes - from a self-watering garden to an interactive art installation.

Based at the Reach Out Makerspace in The Invention Rooms at Imperial's White City Campus, the Maker Challenge encourages young people from the local community to get hands-on by creating their own prototype products and gadgets.

Throughout the programme students gain a range of skills from use of 3D printers and laser cutters, to product development, team-building, and presentation and communication skills to help turn their innovative ideas into reality.

The programme came to an end with a finale showcase, where the projects were judged by a panel of experts.

A self-rocking cradle

First prize in this year’s Maker Challenge was scooped by Wallington High School for Girls pupil Fahreen with her project Snorzzzz-Sleepy Head.

Fahreen’s project addresses the problem of new parents spending hours rocking their child to sleep by creating a self-rocking cradle. Snorzzz, the self-rocking cradle

The cradle has a motor controlled by temperature and a sound sensor to start rocking when the child is put in.

The judges were impressed with the working prototype that Fahreen had created, as well as her presentation board and use of materials and resources.

Interactive installation to tackle loneliness

Second place went to Lance Soleta from St Charles Catholic Sixth Form with his idea for an interactive installation in east London called BIT. This interactive street art installation aims to counter the loneliness epidemic and champion London’s night-time economy by encouraging the public to explore London at night. 

BIT, an interactive art installation

Furniture for small spaces

Adrianna, from Hammersmith Academy, won joint third place for FurnerFlip – a multipurpose piece of furniture for use in small houses or rooms. She was inspired to create her product, after looking for a space to revise in her bedroom. She said: “I live in a small house, where I have to share a room, and there’s no room for a desk. I often end up revising in bed, which is uncomfortable and not very motivating. That’s where I got the idea for a multipurpose piece of furniture. FurnerFlip can be a lap desk, a bench and a bedside table depending on how you arrange it.” 

Furnerflip, the project to create furniture for small spaces

Speaking about the Maker Challenge programme, she added: “I learnt a lot from this process. Not just technical skills, but it boosted my confidence as well.” 

Pupils at the Maker Challenge

A light switched on with the clap of a hand

Syriah, from Twyford CofE High School wondered if it would be possible to switch on a light using the movement of clapping hands. She said: “My idea is for a lamp that is powered by the clap of your hands. The Maker Challenge has been a really interesting experience. I’ve had the opportunity to try things that I have never done before, such as coding. It was challenging, but getting to prototype your own products is really rewarding.”

Syriah’s project also took third place and she was commended by the judges for her excellent presentation.

Clamp, switching on a light with the clap of a hand

Eco-friendly garden

Ezo, from Central Foundation School for Boys, also was presented with a third prize for Eco-Garden. She created a community eco-friendly building, where residents can come together and be surrounded by nature. The building features a central glass cylinder for residents to socialise and a floor for growing GM crops to absorb pollutants. 


The judges for the final were Imperial’s Dr Melanie Bottrill, STEM Programmes Manager & Chemistry Outreach and David Miller, Advanced Hackspace Fellow, and Karsten Goodwin, Production Designer at Random International.


Joanna Wilson

Joanna Wilson
Communications Division

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3970
Email: joanna.wilson@imperial.ac.uk

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