Schoolchildren design their vision of the future for Market Harborough

The TeenTech event at Welland Park Academy
The TeenTech event at Welland Park Academy

More than 100 revved-up youngsters turned a Market Harborough school’s assembly hall into a whirlwind of activity as they designed and plotted our future.

The army of 130 nine and 10-year-olds packed into Welland Park Academy from Foxton, St Joseph’s and Meadowdale primary schools to tackle an inspiring TeenTech challenge.

Maggie Philbin

Maggie Philbin

Urged on by local high-profile TV presenter Maggie Philbin, the buzzing Year 5 boys and girls whipped up a cauldron of energy and noise as they created the innovative City of Tomorrow.

“It’s been a fantastic day – these children have been absolutely brilliant.

“They’ve kept going strong for six hours and have generated so many great ideas as they imagine the sustainable city of the future,” said Maggie, who launched award-winning charity TeenTech in 2008.

“They are split up into teams of five and have to come up with a smarter, safer city – looking at serious issues such as health, transport hubs, open spaces and living together.

“It’s very hands-on and the children learn vital transferrable skills such as leadership, negotiating, tenacity, being inclusive and listening to each other.

“There is no limit to what they can create and they just let their imagination take over.

“Employers are looking for bold and brave visions and the pupils here today are giving us a fascinating glimpse into our future.”

Each team had to take a binliner full of recycled materials as they set to work showing us how Harborough might look in 2030.

“One group built a prison with glass walls to engage with the outside world and wanted inmates being freed to be reintegrated back into society,” said former Tomorrow’s World presenter Maggie.

“We have a prison officer here who’s very impressed and said it was very similar to the Norwegian prison model.

“These children are our innovators, engineers and designers of tomorrow and science and technology needs them.

“They are an inspiration to us all.”

The top two teams from each school will showcase their skills and talents at a TeenTech festival in Leicester on October 24.

“They’ll get the chance to present their ideas to industry.

“It will be a very exciting event and it rewards them for their hard work and incredible ability,” said Maggie.