Schools challenge

Monday 20 March 2017 marked the Grand Final of the fourth annual Deloitte TMT Predictions Schools Challenge: an initiative created to ‘plug the skills gap’ for our clients who report challenges in engaging young people with the skills and interest to pursue careers in the Technology, Media or Telecommunications (TMT) sectors.

The UK-wide competition asked schools from low-income communities to enter teams to develop a technology-based solution to three challenges using themes from Deloitte’s annual TMT Predictions report. The student teams were asked to pitch their ideas to an expert panel of judges, made up of Deloitte partners and senior leaders from Amazon, Fujitsu, BT Openreach and Samsung.

For the first time, Milton Keynes Academy were crowned winners with their innovative ‘BioBuddy’ wristband, designed to aid people with mental health issues. The students were praised for their handling of challenging questions from the judging panel, and their innovative approach to contact a Silicon Valley-based start-up currently working on the technology.

Milton Keynes Academy school team

The two runners up included last year’s winners Maria Fidelis school, from London, whose students pitched ‘Study Bulb’, an education app that paired with an Internet of Things (IoT) device to help students prepare and revise for exams. Whalley Range 11-18 High School, an all-girls team from Manchester, developed ‘teachAfrica’, a proposition which used ultra-fast connectivity to establish an interactive and mobile school network in Sierra Leone and other poor and remote areas.

Whalley Range 11-18 High School pitching their idea to the judges and audience

More about the challenge

All of the schools involved in the TMT Predictions Schools Challenge are part of the Deloitte Access programme, in collaboration with Teach First. The programme is just one component of Deloitte’s wider social impact strategy, One Million Futures.

In the challenge, teams of students from Years 12 and 13 work with volunteer coaches from the TMT practice to create innovative business or product ideas, in response to three briefs linked to Deloitte’s annual TMT Predictions report. In February, these three schools qualified for the Final after presenting their ideas to a specialised group of judges from Hitachi, Samsung and Telefonica, who worked in each of the tech, media and telco sectors.

The winning teams from the qualifying round got back to work, further developing their ideas based on the feedback they had been given.

Grand final day

The students arrived at the Deloitte Auditorium for some last minute practice before getting the opportunity, alongside the 110+ event attendees, to meet some innovative organisations and Social Enterprises operating in the TMT industry in our marketplace.

Student trialling one of Make Real’s products in the marketplace

After the winning team had been announced in the Auditorium the students were taken for a surprise trip on the London Eye, an experience that will live as long in the memory as the skills that they have learnt from taking part in the challenge.

A full auditorium at the TMT Predictions Schools Challenge Final

For more information or any queries about the Challenge, please contact Paul Lee, Head of Global Research for TMT, and Sam Baker, Sponsor Partner.