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Cheshire pupils judged ‘Absolute Genius’

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ShoesChildren from a school in Cheadle, Cheshire are celebrating today after winning a competition to create and design a unique and practical invention.

The winners were announced on the Newsround bulletin on CBBC this morning and their idea will be showcased on CBBC’s Newsround later today at 4.20pm, where the triumphant team will also be presented with a prototype of their winning design.

The team of three children from Lady Barn House School beat off competition from nearly 500 other primary school teams before being judged to be the overall winners of the ‘You Too Can Be An Absolute Genius’ competition. Their winning entry was for ‘Twoes’ which are two way shoes, designed for a comfortable walking experience whichever way your foot goes into the shoe. The team of boys (Oscar, Matthew and Ben) designed their prototypes using old camping mats.

The children from the Cheshire school pitched their design, alongside three other short-listed teams, to a panel of judges on Saturday 29 June at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. The panel of judges was made up of Jem Stansfield (Bang Goes The Theory), Fran Scott (Absolute Genius With Dick & Dom), and Saira Khan (Beat The Boss, The Apprentice). At the end of the day, Newsround presenter Ricky Boleto announced that the team from Lady Barn House School had won the competition and a trophy was awarded to the winners by the three judges. The ultimate prize for the winners will be the opportunity for their winning design to be professionally made.

The competition is a joint initiative from BBC Learning and CBBC’s Newsround and was inspired by the CBBC show Absolute Genius With Dick & Dom. It was launched on Newsround in March 2013 by Dick and Dom and was aimed at upper primary school pupils* who were asked to identify a problem and then come up with a practical invention which provides the perfect solution to the problem. The teams had to provide evidence of their invention including drawings, posters or logos.

Teacher Julie Flynn, from Lady Barn House School, said the pupils involved in the project are absolutely thrilled to have won. She said: “What a great team! Matthew had the inspiration, Oscar provided the catchy name and designed the logo and Ben did the market research to identify their target audience. Their idea is ‘absolute genius’ and here at Lady Barn House School, Cheadle, we are incredibly proud of Oscar, Matthew and Ben. Fantastic, boys!”

Jem Stansfield, one of the judges said: “It was a brilliant pitch. As an engineer I build things all the time and constantly you’re looking for something that you can build it out of. Adapting those camping mats is a stroke of genius. I am totally sold on the concept!”

The three other short-listed entries were:

  • Red Maids Junior School in Bristol, who designed a ‘magnetic walking-stick holder’
  • Parish C of E Primary School in Bromley, who created a ‘Bunk Bed Box’
  • St John’s C of E Primary School in Tunbridge Wells, who came up with the idea of a ‘Swim Crown’

The competition was part of the BBC’s wider Genius of Invention Season, which is running all year on BBC Two. The launch of the competition also coincided with National Science week in March.

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