SYNTHETIC computer gel skin and a device that absorbs polluted air were just two of the predictions on children’s minds when they were asked to think about what the inventions of the future might be.
The children, from Hardwick Primary School, in Sedgefield, were asked to write their inventive insights on letters as part of a competition among their classmates.
Five winning letters were then chosen and sealed in a time capsule before being buried inside the steelwork of the new £7.6m NETPark Explorer buildings currently in development at the North East Technology Park (NETPark), in Sedgefield, for future generations to find.
The overall winner, Phoebe Wright, won for their vision of a suction capsule which took in polluted air and emitted fresh air. Phoebe, 9, was invited to sign the steelwork and saw her work framed as part of the prize. She and her four winning classmates each received £20 WH Smiths vouchers.
Nicole Jenkinson, Year 5 class teacher at Hardwick Primary, said: “The children have loved this challenge and have been so confident in what they’ve designed. Some have chosen incredibly imaginative ‘out there’ ideas while others have rooted their ideas in how something can improve their lives. They love thinking outside of the box and they’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.”
The competition was organised by NETPark and Interserve, the international support services and construction group that is building the Explorer development, providing laboratory, clean room and office space for world class science and technology companies.
The construction site at NETPark has won an Interserve Regional Safety Award and David Dixon, project manager with Interserve, gave the children a talk on health and safety as part of the event.
David said: “It’s great to work with the Durham County Council and Business Durham teams to successfully deliver these exciting schemes. We, as a company, passionately believe in working with local communities and schools, supporting and encouraging their interaction with our business. It was fabulous to welcome the children from Hardwick Primary to the project, where we had the opportunity to deliver an important message about health and safety on construction sites. Their excitement on placing the time capsule was great to see and will be a long-term memento of their visit.”
Councillor Carl Marshall, Durham County Council cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “It’s fantastic to see that the ethos behind the innovative approach we have to business here in the county is being shared with our schoolchildren; we are enthusing them about science, inventions and the future.
“We’re proud to have home-grown talents working in the county on ground-breaking projects at places such as NETPark and we hope that outreach projects like this may well just inspire the next generation of inventors.”
Janet Todd, manager at NETPark for Business Durham, which runs the science park on behalf of Durham County Council, said: “The children have come up with some brilliant inventions and it’s great to see NETPark inspiring the scientists and high-tech workers of the future.”
The winning children were:
• Charlie Townes, 10: An auto drive car to allow blind or disabled people to drive
• Eleanor Savage, 10: Injectable neuron nano bots to tackle motor neuron disease
• Jake Robinson, 10: Wide angle glasses for children with fitted cameras to increase road safety and help parents know where there children are
• Lochlan Allan, 10, Synthetic computer gel skin which reads DNA and gives pre warnings of diseases
Picture shows: From left, Hardwick Primary School pupils Charlie Townes 10, Phoebe Wright 9, Jake Robinson 10, Eleanor Savage, 10 ,and Lochlan Allan, 10, with their winning letters that were chosen to be sealed in a time capsule and encased in concrete in the new £7.6m NETPark Explorer development in Sedgefield. The pupils are pictured with NETPark Manager Janet Todd and Project Manager David Dixon of Interserve.