News: Loyle Carner, Ade Adepitan and Roma Agrawal join forces with V&A to find Britain’s future innovators

Loyle Carner, BRIT Award and Mercury Prize nominated rapper, Ade Adepitan MBE, TV Presenter and Paralympic Medalist, and Roma Agrawal MBE, Structural Engineer, whose projects include London’s iconic Shard building, are today announced as judges of V&A Innovate’s National Schools Challenge. V&A Innovate – the museum’s flagship learning programme for 11-14-year-olds – sets young people design challenges to confront real world issues, and helps them to become the change-makers of tomorrow. Shortlisted entrants will be offered the opportunity to pitch projects in-person to Loyle Carner and Ade Adepitan next year at the V&A as part of a special awards day.

Dr Helen Charman, Director of Learning and National Programmes at the V&A, said: “Hugely inspiring creatives at the top of their fields, we are so thrilled to have Ade, Loyle and Roma involved in this year’s V&A Innovate National Schools Challenge. With months of lost learning due to Covid and the need for creative, solutions-focused thinking, stepping up to support teachers and young people is more vital than ever. At the point when young people begin to think about their GCSE and career choices we hope for V&A Innovate to inspire a new generation of world-leading designers and innovators”

Ade Adepitan MBE, TV Presenter and Paralympic Medalist, said: “See the best in everyone and allow them to show you their ability – it sounds cheesy, but we all have an inner superhero. That’s why the V&A’s programme is exactly what we should be seeing our cultural institutions doing when it comes to developing young people’s skills and nurturing their mind-sets to feel empowered, inspired, and to keep staying positive – I can’t wait to hear their ideas.”

Roma Agrawal MBE, added: “It is a very exciting time to be an engineer, an architect, or a designer – there are so many challenges that face us, with pandemics, the climate emergency and shortages of housing, food, and sustainable energy. The best way to solve these is by coming together. A range of different thoughts and skills can come up with creative solutions. That’s why I am so excited to see the V&A’s Innovate challenge is all about team work! I think that students will thrive with the opportunity to create things by collaborating. I am delighted to be one of the V&A’s judges for this year’s Innovate Challenge and to help shine a light on the amazing ideas of the next generation of change-makers.”

This year, V&A Innovate will centre on the two themes of Home and Community providing teachers and students with an online learning hub including animations, lesson plans, activity packs, interviews with inspiring designers and Continuing Professional Development training. This innovative programme nurtures problem-solving, idea creation, collaboration and originality – all identified by the Cultural Learning Alliance as crucial skills for the 21st century – helping students to work in teams to tackle a modern-day issue.

Conceived as a way to showcase the value, relevance and potential of Design and Technology as an exciting subject and career pathway, in a flexible and accessible way, V&A Innovate can be delivered by a D&T teacher over a term, by a Science or Arts teacher from a few weeks to a day, or as part of an after-school club.

Now in its second year V&A Innovate has been adapted to meet the needs of teachers’ post-lockdown, through an extension of the deadline to submit projects for the National Schools Challenge to March 2021, increased teacher training provision, and a new series of webinars with leading industry leaders from the education and creative industries for teachers starting 6 October.

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