From education to employment

HackFest Project boosted by donation from the Santander Foundation

Plymouth College of Art Charitable Trust received £4,763 to fund the most recent HackFest, a county-wide project founded by Plymouth College of Art, engaging around 200 young people and schools across Devon in digital making, 3D design and coding activities, to create product prototypes that will solve societal issues of the future.

The donation was provided by the Santander Foundation, which offers Discovery Grants to UK registered charities for projects that help disadvantaged people in local communities.

HackFest Image courtesy Pip Raud 4

 HackFest is unique in using design-led, multi-disciplinary methods to empower young people, as makers and influencers, to think creatively and laterally about problems they face, proposing viable solutions through product and service design.

The grant enabled the organisers of HackFest to encourage young people to explore new skills in a wide range of curriculum areas through design and innovation, helping to nurture the workforce of the future.

Teams of students from schools across Devon were challenged to build a product that tackled a situation that they saw as becoming an issue that would need to be addressed in the future, based on the environment, farming and food systems and their impact on human health and wellbeing.


HackFest Image courtesy Pip Raud 6

 The winning design, from students attending Stover School, was a “smart water bottle” to provide clean drinking-water solutions for people in developing countries where water can often be contaminated. Judges were impressed with the team’s confident pitch and above all the design itself, as it featured innovative filtration technologies and a self-charging system using kinetic energy to charge the filtration mechanism.

Oliver Raud, Strategic Funding Manager at Plymouth College of Art said:

“The grant from Santander Foundation has enabled young people across Devon to take part in a series of innovative activities to develop their creative design skills, building product prototypes that solve societal issues, empowering them to make the changes they want to see in the coming decades, as young inventors of the future. For this, we are incredibly grateful and our sincere thanks go to the Foundation for their support.”

Elaine Bleazard, Branch Director at Santander’s Plymouth Branch said:

“The Santander Foundation makes hundreds of donations every year to good causes throughout the UK. We are committed to playing a key part in the community and we are delighted to be supporting Plymouth College of Art Charitable Trust, and hope the donation makes a real difference to local people.”

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