An important theme of school life is enrichment – helping students to develop skills or pick up new passions. Often, these activities mean competing against other national schools. Last year, one such example was the prestigious Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, with a £20,000 cash prize on offer from organisers Nesta Challenges.
The aim of the competition was focused on “tech for good” – using technology in a way that would benefit the lives of others. It combined computing with STEM (science, engineering, technology and maths) to encourage young innovators to create tech solutions to key issues of our time. We entered two teams, battling it out with over 150 entries from schools across the country.
The two teams were:
- Team ecoTask (Daniel Caffoor, Shahmeer Haidery, Muddabir Mohammed and Priyanshu Verma)
- Team Avalanche (Chris Kolev, Mannan Srivastava, Mikaeel Shah and Ushran Hooghan)
Both teams performed well, with one placing in the top 40 and making the finals!
The final-qualifying team was ‘Avalanche’. Their brilliant idea was called ‘Mission Memory’ – an app that helps to reduce symptoms in people with dementia. The app idea included memory games, timetables and an emergency GPS, among other tools. Although the boys did not win the cash prize, they were commended for their idea and encouraged to continue with its development. The boys certainly came away from the experience feeling that they had done something meaningful.
These boys are a great example of what an Isleworthian should be – a mature and considerate young person. Well done to them all!
Here are some key highlights from the final qualifying team:
Being part of a team and looking forward to a prototype of our app has probably been the most enjoyable part of the project for me. This is because you share the excitement of the project with others, as well as being able to collectively collaborate different thoughts and ideas with each other. We got to know each other better and help each other whenever we found problems within the project.– Ushran Hooghan
This competition is nothing like any organised extra-curricular I have been a part of in Isleworth and Syon. The opportunity has managed to explore my inner drive for a win and has helped me use and develop both my individual skills and my teamwork skills. I am thankful for this opportunity because it has taught me the principles of hard work and that working in a team is practically the most thrill you can get when competing against other hard-working teams.– Chris Kolev
In my four years at Isleworth and Syon, I have never experienced such a great STEM opportunity before. There, of course, have been daily STEM extracurricular activities but nothing as challenging, demanding and exciting as the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize. This year has been a roller-coaster ride for me. As well as swinging in and out of lockdown several times, we have had to work hours on ends to turn our idea into reality, but in the end it was worth it. I have developed my skills in many different areas of STEM and have had a wonderful time working on the app.– Mikaeel Shah
I worked hard on it, as did everybody else on the team, as it made me feel I was making a difference to peoples’ lives. And I hope it will. Overall, I have really enjoyed working in the ALEP competition and would recommend it to somebody else.– Mannan Srivastava