Children to design wearable gadgets for Bradford Science Festival competition

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Science Festival co-ordinator Helen Barraclough Bradford Science Festival co-ordinator Helen Barraclough

Pupils at Bradford schools have been set a ‘back to the future’ challenge to create clothing that looks good but contains state-of-the-art technology.

A wearable technology competition was started today by the organisers of Bradford Science Festival.

It is the first event of the third annual science festival, which takes place in October, and it is designed to give pupils a taste of one of the world’s fastest growing industries.

The challenge will link all Bradford’s secondary schools, businesses and the University of Bradford in creating new ideas and prototypes for wearable tech – and is intended to tie in with Bradford’s heritage as a leader in fabric production.

Far from science fiction, products like Google glass and Nike+ running gear are fast becoming part of everyday life. By the time today’s secondary school pupils graduate, the industry is expected to have grown from a £3 billion global market to up to £30 billion.

Schools will be given a starter pack of lightweight technology, including conductive thread, a GPS module and a motherboard, and will have to come up with their own design for an innovative new product. The ideas that impress the judges most will go through to the finals, held on the last day of the science festival.

Teams will be offered advice from manufacturers and the University of Bradford.

Helen Barraclough, co-ordinator of the Bradford Science Festival, said: “As well as providing an interesting and stimulating learning opportunity we hope the challenge will be fun but will also be linked directly to the market place."

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