We are thrilled to announce students have been successful for the annual V&A Innovate National Schools Challenge 2022 – 23, a celebration of young people’s imaginative and inspiring design ideas. Students have completed the V&A innovation challenge over the last term in the STEM for all year 9 students.  In teams of no more than 6, they chose to explore one of three contextual challenges – Adapt, Care, Disrupt. Then the student submitted portfolio assignments for judging by National Designers 'Selasi Setufe, Seetal Solanki & Michael Omotosho'. After reviewing the team' SEE IT LIKE ME' got through to the finals rounds to pitch the ideas at the V&A to the designers. 

Students investigated the theme, undertook research in their school or local area, and used iteration and prototyping to come up with an idea that could have a positive impact on people and the planet. Teams then entered two design sheets describing their design journey and their idea. From the 271 entries received this year, our industry judging panel helped select ten finalist teams who are invited to the V&A on 21 March to pitch their ideas to the judges.

As a result of the students' hard work and efforts and specifically, team See It Like Me. We were successful as National Champion of the 'Best pitch'

Project Name: 

See It Like Me

Thomas Gainsborough School, Sudbury – See It Like Me
A training programme for schools to help raise awareness and understanding of neurodivergence.

Students involved:

  • Hannah 
  • Erin 
  • Amelia 
  • Sophie 
  • Chloe 
  • Belle 

Award Won: Best Pitch Nationally V&A - Innovation

Student Statement:

We got selected to go to London for our idea in engineering. We had to choose between three categories which were  care, adapt and disrupt. We all chose the theme care and did 2 mind maps on our initial ideas. We focused on neurodivergent as one of the people in our group explained to us about her experience with neurodivergence.  We stayed after school every Tuesday to add on our ideas and create a presentation. On Tuesday 21st March we went to London to share the idea. It was a very long trip but when we arrived we met the staff and they told us our timetable. We had a 1 hour break to settle in. Whilst we waited we explored the museum and looked at other peoples work. We then got invited to do some workshops. The first one was about  substituting plastic for dissolvable plastic. They used part of seaweed  and sprayed it with a liquid they made to make it into a jelly substance. We then did a clay workshop. We had to work with partners and one of us described an image and the other one made what they described with clay without looking. After that we got called to have a 5 minute practice before doing it infront of everyone. When the time came we were called in to watch others perform and do our own. Everyone did a good job. We won the best pitch award and a trophy shaped like a V and A. We all found it very interesting and it was a very good experience for us all.

The winning team: