Derby Moor Spencer Academy student wins big at TeenTech Awards

After winning last year’s TeenTech competition in the education category, Tanvir Tamber’s accomplishments are summed up in a letter from her mentor Carol Ezis.

Carol Ezis, Learning Director for Human Development at Derby Moor Spencer Academy, recently attended the National TeenTech Awards with student Tanvir Tamber, where they were both honoured with awards. She writes:

Out of 120 original team entrants in the Global Challenge Patient Safety category at Teen Tech Awards, Tanvir’s phenomenal Step into a Smile project to encourage healthcare professionals to be aware of, monitor and make provision for the mental health implications of medical interventions, was awarded runner up with special mentions from the judges.

She was also told by the judge from Microsoft that her ideas have genuine potential and to keep in touch with a new mentor to start to take this forward in reality. Her mentor from the US, a mental health professional, gave her work a tremendous endorsement too, saying that this is the kind of model that needs to be followed by healthcare professionals to reduce the amount of patients whose recovery is seriously disrupted by mental health trauma.

The real success of the day was that Tanvir’s Step into a Smile was voted the People’s Choice Young Innovator of the Year. I think this is the most important award of all, as it means that out of the 61 projects exhibited there across both the 11-16 and 17-19 categories, Tanvir’s was voted as the most innovative and best project by her peers as they walked around looking at and listening to each other’s ideas. So many teachers from other schools came over to compliment us at her stand and sent their students to have a look at the quality and intricacy of her presentation. We were glowing with pride all day.

She was also awarded Skills Award Certificates for Tenacity and Thinking Big and Bold.

Diya Sadi, a Year 12 Student from Derby Moor Spencer Academy, was one of two young people invited out of the thousands of TeenTech participants to be Compere for the National Awards, having been noticed for her amazing personality at the Innovation Hack at Microsoft earlier in the year. What an honour this was for our school. She was so professional, even covering with an impromptu comment to the audience when the video link to an American sponsor didn’t work at first. She really is a natural presenter, appearing so confident, genuinely welcoming to the experts announcing their categories’ results and truly appreciative of the work of all the innovators. There is definite potential here for a side line career, but for someone destined for success in a STEM career she was the perfect choice for this role at Teen Tech.

Teen Tech Awards are a genuinely rewarding addition to the curriculum, which can be introduced through PHSCE, technology or art. They add cultural capital by encouraging students to trust their initiative and create innovations that could make future life safer, simpler or more sustainable, whilst providing the structure of research-led innovation logs to model what might be needed in reports in future studies. The Awards are constantly evolving and give students of all abilities the satisfaction of receiving feedback from several industry experts, the chance to engage with mentors in the field of their invention and a certificate stating their innovation’s bronze, silver or gold status, which is really useful for records of achievement even if they aren’t selected for the final. During the year students can participate in Innovation Hacks to see the very latest technology in action and TeenTech Live sessions during which they can ask the experts their burning questions.

Having myself been judged runner up Teacher of the Year after winning it outright last year, I would be happy to share ideas about ways of integrating Teen Tech into the curriculum of any of the Trust schools as I believe it is an opportunity not to be missed to foster challenge and build self-esteem.