Two schools from Suffolk were the regional winners of this year’s BT and NRE (Nations and Regions East) Challenge. Riverside Middle School from Mildenhall won the regional awards for Key Stage 2 and for Key Stage 3 and Amberfield School from Nacton won the regional award for Key Stage 4.
Teams from fifteen schools across Essex, Suffolk and Hertfordshire battled against each other to win this year’s challenge, inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The winning schools were announced after the participating teams presented their ideas to a panel of judges at BT’s Adastral Park, near Ipswich, on Friday 2 July.
Riverside Middle School’s teams were called ‘Fit for Fun’ and ‘Technofreaks’, and Amberfield School’s team was called ‘Move It’.
BT and NRE encouraged schools across the region to take on the challenge and live the Olympic and Paralympic Values of friendship, excellence, respect, courage, inspiration, determination and equality. The challenge was “How can technology help encourage, inspire and motivate young people and their families to enjoy a healthier lifestyle?”.
Other schools from across the three counties won achievement awards, and there were also prizes for individual efforts in reflecting the Olympic values.
The head of the judging panel was BT’s John Seton, who said: “The quality of imaginative and creative ideas the young people came up with for the challenge this year was outstanding and the winning schools really came up with some inspiring and remarkable projects for how people can use technology to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.”
The prizes were presented by Phil Dance managing director of BT at Adastral Park, and by Erin Munns, manager of Get Set, the official London 2012 education programme.
Cllr Stephen Castle, Chairman of Nations and Regions East said: “The BT and NRE Technology Challenge is a fantastic way for young people in the East of England to get involved in the run up to London 2012. We received some truly inspiring entries from schools and it was a great opportunity to get young people thinking about how their families can take part in a healthier lifestyle.”
BT’s Phil Dance said: “Educating young people about new technology is a big priority for us at BT and we always want to show them how exciting and rewarding it can be. We think this helps us recruit the right IT-skilled talent in the future, as well as being good for UK business and the country as a whole. The Technology Challenge has shown just how many young people have a really good understanding of IT as well as being full of innovative ideas and creativity, and we applaud all the finalists.”
The challenge was cross-curriculum and designed to fit within the KS3 and 4 personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) framework and the KS2 Key Skills and Thinking Skills. Schools that took part also had to be registered on the London 2012 Get Set website.