Over 200 students from schools across Devon, including South Devon UTC Great Torrington School, South Molton Community College, The Ilfracombe Academy, St. James School, West Exe School, Teignmouth Community School, Stoke Damerel Community College, Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth School of Creative Arts, are participating in HackFest, a county-wide project for young people to come together to create product prototypes that respond to the issues of the future, led by FabLab Plymouth at Plymouth College of Art with FabLab Devon as partners.
The HackFest project is an exciting new project that will culminate in the winners of the project Challenge Days attending Venturefest South West, a showcase of the most cutting edge innovation and entrepreneurship coming out of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset that will take place on Tuesday 18 October at Sandy Park, Exeter.
Funded by Devon County Council, Heart of the South West LEP, Plymouth Culture and Plymouth City Council, HackFest sees partners from across Devon working together to provide students from all across the county the opportunity to bring innovation to life by designing and building prototypes of their very own products.
Adrian Farmer, Team Leader Year 7 Learners’ Baccalaureate and Engineering teacher at Great Torrington School, said: “HackFest has already been an amazing experience for our pupils, exposing them to new technologies and aspects of design thinking and innovation above and beyond what they experience in the classroom. It is a great opportunity to inspire the next generation of engineers and designers and get them hooked at a young age.”
A large group of students studying on creative Extended Diploma courses from Plymouth College of Art’s new Pre-Degree campus at Palace Court in the city centre are taking part, as well as students from The Red House.
Participating students are gaining vital insight into disruptive technologies and skills to equip them for future careers, through a programme of hands-on, dynamic workshops focused on: Design Thinking; Electronics and Coding; Lean Startup models; 2D Design; 3D Design and Printing; and Laser Cutting.
Paul Wigmore, Design and Technology teacher at West Exe School, said: “Our students had a fantastic time, mixing and learning with other schools. They particularly enjoyed working with the fab lab and the work with 3D printing, electronics, vinyl cutting and laser cutting. They look forward to the next challenge of designing their product as a group, making it and entering the regional competition against the other schools.”