DSL selects inaugural winner of Design Academy 2023 STEM competition

The Letchworth-based electronic design consultancy selected Jemima Hewitt, of St Francis’ College, as the winner. She was chosen out of hundreds of entrants from local educational establishments. She won both an iPad for herself and £500 of design and technology equipment for her school, to help better equip the next generations of engineers.

“The overall winner, Jemima, presented her concept of a home recycling crusher that addresses the issue of overfilled recycling bins and where that overspill can end up,” said Rory Dear, the Managing Director and owner of DSL (right).

“The device compacts your recyclable waste as it fills enabling a far greater quantity of household waste to be correctly recycled.”

The format for the competition was that each finalist presented their idea to a packed venue and responded to questions from the expert panel of judges (right). Each judge marked each entry against four attributes: originality, thoroughness, feasibility and presentation.

“Outside of the winner,” added Dear, “the 9 other finalists all presented fantastic, well thought out ideas that spanned devices to help those struggling with plant maintenance, disabilities, bullying and their parents stealing their baking whilst they’re at school!”

DSL Design Academy Finalists

The selected 10 finalists comprised:

  • Albie Smith (6) – St Mary’s Academy
  • Jemima Hewitt (15) – St Francis’ College
  • Kaci Rennie (10) – Wilbury Junior School
  • Laura Szmigielska (10) – Wilbury Junior School
  • Sami Uddin (10) – Wilbury Junior School
  • Matthew Pike (10) – Hartsfield JMI School
  • Eleanor Weaver (11) – Hartsfield JMI School
  • Isabella Abbassi (13) – Knights Templar School
  • Kyle Rooney (14) – Knights Templar School
  • Emilia-Elza Francisco (14) – Knights Templar School

In attendance was DSL’s retired founder, Derek Carpenter, for whom the award was named in honour, recognising his life’s work, particularly mentoring younger staff (including Rory Dear).

You can read more about the Design Academy awards here, and congratulations to all the finalists.

See also: EW BrightSparks winner wins WorldSkills UK ‘Rising Star’ award

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