Feedback from Students and Teachers
The comments below are from TeenTech Awards students, teachers and parents on their experience in 2022.
Many teams share their learning with us, they are rightly proud of this. These are their unedited comments on what they feel they gained from the process.
Creating my own project and teaching myself python pandas from research. It’s been a proud moment for me seeing it come together without any prior knowledge or experience of python pandas. I also felt like an entrepreneur, managing my own startup, trying to meet very tight deadlines. Although I did feel some pressure, I remained motivated because I want to win the Data Science Category.
I’ve learned more about animation, how to time the frames and the importance of choosing the right music to match the animation. I struggled a bit with some parts of the animation but I really wanted to finish it so I kept going.
The problem we want to solve is the inequality between genders. We focussed on this idea because we are the only group of girls in an entire class of boys. We wanted to break the stereotype of only boys coding, as people assume only boys do ICT and gaming. There aren’t many games that have gender-neutral characters. Most let you choose either boy or girl, so there are no options for people who don’t identify as either or would rather not be limited to customisation items based on their gender.
We have all learnt how to work better in a team and how to manage our time well. Another thing is how we now know how to take feedback well.
During this project, I have learned valuable and important lessons and rules that could be integrated into later products and projects, such as the organisation needed to compile ideas and sketches as well as how presentations should traditionally be laid out. Also, I learned the crucial components that are needed to manufacture cameras and the names of those components.
Also, I have now understood what is needed to create a successful product by using large amounts of research and information to formulate a good base to build my product upon.
It is important to understand your consumers and how life has changed the way that they act and feel.
While making this project, we have all realised that every single person can make a difference, whatever age. This is really encouraging when we think about the future.
We have used apps that we had never used before and began to understand more about how people who create real and very famous websites do what they do and share their ideas.
We have learnt how determined and passionate we all are to solve global warming and climate change. We understand that this website alone isn’t going to change everything, but we think it is a step in the right direction.
We have learnt more about using our imagination when coming up with logos, slogans and screen designs. Having an image in your head already of what you want is so useful, because then you can try to make something as similar as you can with the software you have!
We have definitely learned that we have to be patient when working in a team, because sometimes we had different ideas and so we had to talk it all through and understand each other’s way of thinking.
An advantage of working in a team was that we managed to split up the work so that none of us had to work for hours. A disadvantage of working in a team was that when we wanted to do some work on our own (after school, for example) we weren’t able to work together.
We have definitely learned more about motivation because we have had to keep going. This was shown when we kept making screen designs but we felt that none of them were special enough and so we had to keep making them until we found the right one.
We learnt how to create a good looking slideshow on a project, how to collaborate and share ideas with others and how to work with people we’ve never met before.
I joined all 3 coding master classes this week and truly enjoyed creating my first ever games. Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to be a programmer and to create my own game. The TeenTech masterclass really gave me an opportunity to make a start on my dream and to code my first games.
As soon as I created this game I have proudly shared with my family and close friends. They absolutely loved it and I even inspired two of my friends to try out coding as well. Having the opportunity to work on this project made me realise how much I love this field of technology. I always dreamt of becoming a great programmer one day and this project confirmed that this is my passion more than anything. I am looking forward to creating more games on a more advanced level in the near future.
Now I can find ways to keep myself motivated and not get bored and distracted, which is very useful when you are doing work in school.
When we started on this project we were hesitant that our idea was ever going to come together and that it wasn’t as technical as others in our class, However we have learnt to trust our instincts and believe in ourselves and our capabilities.
This project has inspired us to learn more about coding and ICT. It has been a fun project and we worked together to complete it. It has made me be more interested in gaming and made us more creative overall. It was a good experience and we understood what it feels like to make a game, and how difficult it can be. We learned more about teamwork and also had fun doing this project.
I have learnt more about designing and how it isn’t just about how something looks or the end result but everything that goes into it, like background information, measurement, who you can ask for help.
Due to taking part in this project, I’ve learnt a lot, but I feel that I’ve really improved my innovative skills when thinking about solving this problem and would feel much more comfortable brainstorming ideas for another project in future.
I’ve learnt a lot about access to education and how difficult it can be to keep up with work if you can’t be in school for any reason, and also how to think creatively and that the first solution you come up with for a problem is almost never the end product.
I’ve learnt a lot about design communication and getting ideas across quickly and efficiently. I’ve also learnt developing a product and branching one idea into another better one.
I’ve learnt that you need to do as much work as possible early on because over time the amount of work catches up with you.
My learning points are that I have gained more skills for example I learned how to write a proper email to the council but unfortunately, they did not reply. I think most of all that I have learnt not to be afraid of going out of the box and just try something out that seems a bit extraordinary and that my out come will be better if you really try.
I’ve really enjoyed seeing how innovative the students have been and how they have developed their ideas.
It’s been really mind-blowing to see the amazing, wide-ranging ideas young people in Year 8 have for making life better in the future. When imaginations are allowed free reign, phenomenal talent is revealed and great hope that we have the capacity to create much-needed improvements.
The journey of developing a product from concept to a stage that would be put into production. We’ve really enjoyed working and seeing the creativity and problem solving shown by the students and their passion for new technology.
The whole process of coming up with the idea, researching, designing, modelling and seeing through to a finished prototype. I have enjoyed working with my pupils, and I have been blown away by both their dedication and resilience throughout the project.
Once again, we took part in the popular City of Tomorrow sessions with girls interested in IT and coding the girls enjoyed the innovation live workshops some, I believe, even signed up to the masterclasses in the Easter holiday. It’s extraordinary to come out of the two-year pandemic period straight into one of the busiest years for STEM since 2019.
The young people have been fascinated to discuss each others’ ideas and really enjoyed developing and explaining their own innovations so others can understand them. Teen Tech Awards create a real buzz in our school and there is genuine pride when they read the Judges’ feedback and get their certificates, with the consequent boost to their self-esteem and appreciation of their success from classmates. Those who have interacted with Mentors found it so rewarding and hard to believe that these people genuinely wanted to know more about their ideas.
We’ve learnt to give the students more space to be creative and to problem solve on their own.
I learned that my students are very capable of completing a project independently and are able to guide themselves to a good final outcome!
From a teacher’s perspective, I have learnt the importance of offering extracurricular activities that encourage pupils to think beyond the curriculum.
I think the Teen Tech Awards are a brilliant way of captivating young people’s imagination and giving them such a great sense of worth, which young people don’t always get. It raises their awareness and helps them to believe they too could be influential. A great confidence booster.
I wish your team could have heard the conversations of working students – totally on the task and bouncing ideas around each other. I feel lucky that I was a part of the ‘buzz’ of working on the projects with them.
Learning about current innovations and working with STEM ambassadors to develop our ideas. It was amazing to watch the growth and development of the ideas and see them gain in confidence as the process went on.
TeenTech has really engaged the students in my classes- they valued and enjoyed the live-streaming sessions where experts gave their views on game development and later supplied very informative and useful feedback. I think linking the classroom with industry and experts in the particular field is very motivating, technology brought life to the task and made it so real for the students. The categories and tasks were thoughtfully put together and well resourced.
It has been brilliant seeing our students develop some really innovative and interesting ideas. The chance for students to show independence to get involved and their enthusiasm that has been generated.
We have thoroughly enjoyed the high standard of content, the guest speakers, experts in their field of work and the flexibility of the online workshops, especially as so many of our plans were put on hold due to the pandemic. Just six months ago, wearing masks and mass testing was the norm; while it’s not yet time to breathe a sigh of relief, we are celebrating our progress by deciding to continue our efforts with the online TeenTech sessions. What we particularly liked also was the skills of independence and taking ownership of their own learning being developed.
I have learnt to be amazed by my students! The ideas and ingenuity they demonstrated were incredible – the tenacity and determination to complete the product and the collaboration working in a team. I also realised that some students give really great feedback to each other – they make crucial points with care and precision and have exacting standards.
All the students enjoyed feeling success either for their own work or for that of others- I think the whole project curated partnership between students. They absolutely loved hearing feedback on the projects and recognised the value of expert scrutiny. They gained wider skills on game development software – which will be useful for future projects.
The impact of the pandemic required us to redouble our efforts. It feels like we were working at top speed, trying to play catch-up. It’s reinforced that every now and then, you just have to take advantage of the opportunities thrown at you sometimes. After submitting our DT GCSE coursework in, we could have easily taken the easy route to sit back and relax a bit. However when you see the enthusiasm in the girls and the pride they have developed in their work, you realise this job is not about you but about the children and lessons you teach them about being resilient and never giving up.
So for us its been Patience, Persistence and being Positive. We feel the future of the STEM industry is truly bright, from the kind of work our students are able to imagine all from listening to the experts.