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Wearable heart monitor bags Begbroke Science Park (BSP) 2014 Innovation Showcase Award

2014 Innovation Showcase

A wearable heart monitor designed by Year 10 Burford School pupils saw off stiff competition to win the sought-after 2014 BSP Innovation Showcase award.

BSP welcomed 38 Year 9 and 10 pupils from schools in Oxfordshire and the Southeast to try their hand at turning cutting edge science into commercial business ideas. The five teams took recent scientific discoveries and developed them into new commercial products, presenting their designs and business plans ‘Dragons Den style’ in competition for the coveted Innovation Showcase trophy.

The winning team’s idea took super-thin electronics and developed them into a wrist band that formed a wearable heart monitor. The device would allow patients’ wellbeing to be remotely monitored, reducing the discomfort of regular hospital visits and allowing earlier detection of potential health problems. The team caught the judge’s attention with their innovative thinking, well thought out strategy and clear routes to market.

Competition for the trophy was tough, with other teams from Abdingdon School, Burford School and Dover Grammar School for Girls, also developing great ideas including body armour made from artificially produced spider-silk and prosthetic limbs formed from a new transparent, electronically conducting gel.

The pupils also got the chance to see two of BSP’s leading research laboratories and see first-hand how studying science can lead to many exciting careers.

Graham Hillsdon showed how the University of Oxford’s Impact Laboratory is working to make aeroplanes safer, whilst in the Advanced Processing Laboratory pupils witnessed an experiment conducted by Robin Vincent from the Processing of Advanced Materials research group. Adam Musson, Abingdon School, said “it was really good to ask questions of the people who actually do it (the scientists)”.

Budding engineer Katherine Mordecai from Burford School commented that the event “gave us an opportunity to experience real-life applications for science; we got to see the science and then do it ourselves”.

Judging this year’s Showcase Caroline Livingstone, Manager of BSP, commented that “I always enjoy this event particularly seeing the pupils involved in the kind of activities that form the heart of BSP. It was really hard to pick a winner this year with all the teams creating great business ideas.”

The event forms part of the BSP School Event Series. Future events include the Practical Nanoscience Workshop for KS3/4/5 and BTEC science teachers, on 16 July 2014; for more information or to book a place email events@begbroke.ox.ac.uk.

innovation-showcase-2014

Ben Roeves