On the 15th September 2016, twelve Year 12 pupils went to Ulster University to take part as judges for the Invent 2016 student competition, hosted by the innovation company Connect. When we went into the presentation room we sat down and then Peter from Connect introduced us to the main aims of the event that was about to take place. Tim, a representative from Ulster University told us the university has strong links and works closely with big companies like Apple, NASA and HP. He then outlined the exciting plans that Ulster have for the area around York Street with plans to develop a new educational building that will be one third bigger than Victoria Square for the future students.
We were then introduced to the three lovely judges, one being Victoria Potts a former pupil of Bloomfield Collegiate. She won £1000 in the Invent2015 competition.
The pitches were about to start and we were told to imagine that we had £1 million and had to decide out of the 9 pitches who we would invest our £1 million in. Each finalist had 5 minutes to convince us to invest our money.
Each pitch was very intriguing and a lot of effort and thought had clearly gone into them. They ranged from Snap It an idea around elastic wrist bands linked to your phone to be snapped when anxious, through to an APP that can be used instead of paper loyalty cards. Out of all 9 pitches and ideas that we heard one of our favourites was Embed. These are cardboard beds that can be filled with necessities like food, clothes and mosquito nets. They were targeted at people who had suffered from a natural disaster e.g. earthquake. We were told that the homeless, festival goers and armed force personnel would find this beneficial. We feel that this product would have the most positive impact.
Overall from the event we realised that if you have good idea you should consider pursuing it and making it happen. We would like to thanks Mr McEvoy for giving us this opportunity to experience a great day outside the classroom.
Lauren Girvin and Monique Uprichard