Wales’ future inventors recognised at WJEC’s annual Innovation Awards

Wales’ future inventors recognised at WJEC’s annual Innovation Awards

Promising students have been recognised for their remarkable creations at our prestigious 22nd Innovation Awards ceremony held on 13 December at the Pierhead, Cardiff Bay.

The Innovation Awards, in partnership with the Welsh Government, recognises the very best in creativity and design amongst the many talented students we have in Wales.

The awards returned following a 2-year absence due to the pandemic, whereby students, teachers, and parents from schools and colleges from across Wales gathered at the Pierhead to celebrate and reward the most original project work by students studying Design and Technology at GCSE, AS and A level.

Despite the pandemic’s undeniable impact on learning, the judges commended students for ‘overcoming considerable challenges to produce innovative concepts and products’. The ‘high standard’ of entrants in this year’s competition were said to highlight the ‘breadth of innovation and ambition held by students’ and was a ‘cause for great celebration’.

This year Benjamin Morris from King Henry VIII Comprehensive, Abergavenny, championed both the A level and Overall Winner categories with his creation, a toe protection device for cricketers. The judges were extremely impressed with his testing and development and saw much commercial viability in his product.

After winning, Benjamin said: “This has been an amazing experience. I really didn’t think I would be the Overall Winner - there are lots of extremely impressive projects and concepts here. I would like to thank my teacher, Mr Curran, he has been my Design and Technology teacher at King Henry since Year 7. He has been very patient over the years and is a credit for my success today.”

Award Winners 2022

GCSE Winners

1st - Jacob Taylor Chow, from Ysgol Glan Clwyd for his ingenious ‘Bike Safe’
2nd - Steffan Hoogendoorn, from Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Edern for his original ‘Mountain goat inspired climbing shoe’
3rd - James Clark, from Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Edern for his useful ‘Gym spotting device that uses repurposed seatbelts from scrapped cars’

AS Winners

1st - Finnley Colwill-Downs, from Brynteg Comprehensive School for his fresh ‘Crutch Design Proposal’
2nd - Ewan Brough, Brynteg Comprehensive School for his excellent ‘Integrated Kitchen knife Block’
3rd - Charlotte Warren, Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi for her brilliant ‘Food Peg’

A Level Winners

1st - Benjamin Morris, from King Henry VIII Comprehensive, Abergavenny for his superb ‘Toe protection for cricketers’
2nd - Jacob Davies, from Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi for his smart ‘Portable Blood Centrifuge’
3rd - Sophia Grace Evans, from Ysgol Llanfyllin for her creative ‘Quad Clamp’

Other prizes went to:

Intellectual Property Prize - Niamh Harris, Brynteg Comprehensive School
Creative Prize - Polly Robatto, Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg
Computer-Aided Design / Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) Prize - Dylan Brannigan, Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr

The full list of winners (including project descriptions and our judges’ comments) is now available to view here.

Images from the event and of the winning projects are available on our Facebook page.

Commended for their success

Ian Morgan, our Chief Executive, warmly welcomed all the finalists at this year’s ceremony. He viewed and discussed the outstanding projects with excited shortlisted pupils, before presenting their awards.

Commenting on the ceremony and the winners, he said:

“It has been an honour to revel in the success of these students at our awards ceremony. It is vital to recognise young talent in Wales and celebrate the level of commitment and hard work that goes into producing these products.

“A huge congratulations is in order for all the winners. You’ve all demonstrated incredible dedication and determination in developing these ideas and bringing them to life. You should be immensely proud of your achievement. The ability to channel creativity into something imaginative and beneficial to society is a rare talent. I am sure these are just the first of many exciting achievements and inventions to come, and we look forward to seeing where your studies take you next. I’m confident to say that the future of Welsh design and innovation is in very safe hands!

“We also recognise that there is a huge amount of support from teachers and family members who are there, every step of the way, supporting these young people’s creative endeavours – thank you!”

Ian went on to recognise the ‘continued support from the Welsh Government’ and said: “Their ongoing support is enormously appreciated, without which, the award ceremony simply could not take place.”

Alongside Ian Morgan, the winners were presented with their trophies by Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, who said:

“I’m really pleased to present the Student Innovation Awards again this year.”

“The high standards of entries are fine examples of what Wales can achieve through science, technology and innovation. The awards showcase the talent, the enthusiasm and the commitment of our young people across Wales.”

“Congratulations to everyone who made it to the finals!”

For further information on our Innovations Awards, visit our webpage.