Students tackle pollution in Digital Innovation Challenge

24 November 2016
How can we use digital technology to combat the very real problem of air pollution? That was the issue posed to students at Oaklands College as they were challenged to think outside the box in a recent Digital Innovation Challenge session.

The session, held by the college in conjunction with social enterprise Silicon Abbey challenged the students to combined their forward thinking ideas and understanding of technology to tackle real-world everyday problems. 

The teams, made of students from Business, IT and Science were set the challenge and given a week to come up with ideas. They then had a set time to brainstorm and prepare their pitch idea before peers and ‘Dragons’ – business experts from the local community. 

Ideas ranged from retro-fitting vehicles with pollution-reducing technology, to the notion of recycling revenues generated from congestion charges directly into new environmental initiatives. 

With free reign on how to present their ideas the challenge widened to include effective pitching and presenting their ideas professionally in the short time to mimic the business environment. 

The session was first in a series of digital events planned for the College this year. All on different themes, each will challenge the students to apply their skills to different issues and causes. Previously the team have hosted ‘Hacking Days’ as part of their wider work with businesses, education and local government to build a digital future for everybody.

Torsten de Riese of Silicon Abbey  said: “We were so impressed with the ideas students brought to the table. Not only did they think outside the box, but  their pitches to present their ideas were dynamic knowledgeable and professional.

He added: “It was fantastic to put the minds of business, IT and science to the test – what we’d love to do next time is mix it up.  We hear a team from the Beauty department could be at the next event – it will be great to see that synergy in action!”