News & Media

The Future’s Bright, The Future’s Solar

Saving the planet and the NHS tops teen inventors’ to do lists

Assisting the NHS and using the planet’s renewable energy sources to produce power were two of the most prevalent ideas stemming from teenage minds, according to Your Life’s annual Formula 100 invention competition.

Your Life is dedicated to boosting the uptake in post 16 study of Maths and Physics and the competition saw teenagers across the country come up with ideas for new inventions, with the shortlist announced this week, with a live public vote running until next Monday, 13th June.

There wasn’t a selfie in sight as inventions featuring renewable energy and health featured in just under a third of all 140 entries in a fascinating insight into the motivations of altruistically-minded teenagers in Britain today.

Shortlisted entries in the competition for 11-16 year olds included a carbon capture chamber, a solar powered coat activating your mobile as a result of exercise and a solar powered roof box using solar power to charge the phone or the vehicle.

Meanwhile personal and family concerns motivated youngsters to come up with solutions to health challenges with inventions including a collapsible spacer device for asthmatics, a medical bangle for people with medical conditions that would sync with paramedic’s phones and a GPS tracker for people with Alzheimer’s.

In terms of technology to be utilised robots, apps and mobile phones appeared frequently. Other topics that engaged youngsters this time included pets, fashion and music. The shortlisted entries in two categories from 11-13 and 14-16 year olds have been turned into videos by Your Life’s digital content team and are available in a public vote activated on Your Life’s You Tube channel with 20% of votes coming from a public vote and 80% from judges’ scores. Entries were judged on their innovation, creativity and practicality. The two winners are being announced at the Velodrome on June 21st by Your Life’s Patron Beth Tweddle at Your Life’s event during London Tech Week, ‘Fast Track Your Future’.

According to the Head of the Judging Panel and Your Life non-exec Director, Dr. Ros Rivaz: “Judging this year’s competition has been tough with the entries of a really high standard. It is so encouraging that top of young people’s concerns are solutions within health and also how to use renewable energy. These are two of mankind’s biggest challenges and it is really heartening that these are the areas that are challenging the next generation. Studying Maths and Physics can provide the foundation to enable some of these brilliant creative ideas to become reality.”

Beth Tweddle remarked: “It is so encouraging to see young people’s ideas on how to invent the future and how un selfish their concerns are, often triggered by their own experiences within their own families. I know from my own recovery from injury how important medical advances are and if this is what is motivating today’s teenagers we are in good hands for the future. We are urging everyone to get voting to give these kids a real boost!”

The full list of shortlisted entries for the 11-13 year- old category are:

Callum Sergeant, 12: Dalziel High School, Motherwell: Sun box roof box thing that needs a better name.

Zac Flynn, 12: Fulham Boys School, London: Tracker Board

Jack Gilmartin, 13: Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley: Medical Bracelet

The full list of shortlisted entries are for the 14-16 year old category:

Caroline Longley, 14: Kingdown School, Warmister: Horse Heat detector

Lara Pieckza, 16: Northampton High School: Collapsible spacer device for asthmatics

Sarah Adegbite, 14: Woldingham School: Carbon Capture Chamber

The winners of the two categories win £1,000 cash for the school/youth organisation, an iPad for the student and There are also amazing extra prizes on offer which have been kindly donated by two Your Life sponsors:

Shell is offering four one-day admission tickets to Goodwood Festival of Speed on Sunday 26th June, for the winner in the 11-13 age category (to include accompanying adults). Meanwhile Johnson & Johnson is offering the opportunity for a special tour of their Beerse site in Belgium with travel and accommodation for the winning student of the 14-16 category plus one adult. The site is a centre for research and development as well as production, and it is the home of Janssen, Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical division.


Notes to editors

For more information please contact Toby Hicks at Your Life on 0780-362-8050 or email:

About Your Life

In a changing world dominated by innovation, technology and exciting new possibilities, the skills learned from taking Maths and Physics at school, college and university are crucial to success in all careers.

But the nation’s employers are reporting an education emergency in our schools. Not enough young people have the Maths and Science skills our businesses need to succeed.
Your Life is guided and supported by a group of leading companies and major UK employers, whose support is central to achieving the aims of the campaign: BAE Systems, Ford, A T Kearney, Rio Tinto, Johnson & Johnson, Carillion, Nestle and Shell.

Your Life inspires young people by bringing-to-life the infinite career possibilities open to those who take Maths and Physics at A Level / Highers.
The campaign is led by entrepreneurs, backed by business and supported by Government. Through its coalition of major employers, Your Life demonstrates the exciting opportunities and job prospects these subjects provide.

The campaign will deliver a significant step change in Maths and Physics skills levels among young people, to create a talented workforce for the future.