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25th Jun, 2022

Innovative Houlton students win national award for futuristic walking stick design

INNOVATIVE students at Houlton School have won a prestigious national award for designing a futuristic walking stick.

A group of Year 7 pupils won a V&A Innovate National Schools Award at the V&A Museum in London after they took part in a national challenge to design a solution to a real-world problem.

They walked away with the award for the ‘Move’ category, wowing the judges with their design for ‘The Rewalkable’ – an adjustable, moisture-sensing walking stick for the partially sighted, made from recycled products.

Competition was tough, with nearly 2,000 pupils across 119 teams entering ideas – and just 50 pupils from across the country selected for the Annual Pitching and Awards Day.

Taking inspiration from the V&A’s ‘Design: 1900-Now’ galleries, pupils were tasked with proposing design ideas for the themes of Renew, Connect, and Move. This included a focus on more sustainable uses of materials and ways of living, ways to support people to reconnect following Covid restrictions, and more inclusive ways to keep active and enjoy the outdoors.

During the Pitching and Awards Day, the Houlton School students spent the day taking part in creative workshops with designers, where they also saw their work on display, and stood up in front of a full auditorium to showcase their project to a panel of industry judges.

‘The Rewalkable’ was commended by professionals on the day as being something truly innovative which has no similar counterpart on the market.

Russell Hill, Creative Subject Leader at Houlton School, said: “Our young designers were so excited to win this award. They have worked incredibly hard and it was fantastic that the judges recognised their incredible creativity, innovation and teamwork.

“Everyone showed such maturity, resilience and enthusiasm, not just for the project, but for the impact that creating sustainable items can and could have in the future.”

The school’s Vice Principal Chloe Buckenham said: “It was an absolute privilege to see our pupils present on the day. We are so proud of their achievement, they are truly world class.”

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