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Monday, 22nd February 2021

Drogheda Young Innovators Competition goes online for 2021

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Prize fund increases to €2,000, students asked to complete a 35-day video challenge

Seven years ago The Mill Enterprise Hub and supporters launched the Drogheda Young Innovators competition for secondary school students in the Drogheda area.

The idea was to encourage teenagers to think like innovators in the fields of business, social enterprise, and technology and over the intervening years some amazing young “business heads” have come forward with some of the most unique ideas.

The 2021 competition will feature a new socially-distanced format which involves individual or remote teamwork on over 50 challenges, covering themes such as Environment, Mental and Physical Wellbeing, Self-Development, Innovation, Business, Technology, and the Drogheda Community.

Students in the nine Drogheda-based secondary schools (including Dunleer and Laytown) are being invited to complete a 35-day video challenge and win part of the increased €2000 Drogheda Young Innovators prize due to support from State Street, Fitz Scientific, Amazon, East Coast Bakehouse, and Coca-Cola International Services.

Challenges range from predicting the latest technology in 2040, completing a book or Wikipedia entry, taking a walk, or designing Drogheda United’s new stadium as part of their wellness programme.

According to Breanndán Casey, Innovation & Enterprise Manager at The Mill, “the traditional format involved an application process with new ideas on how to make a small change or a big difference in the world we live in.

“We’re really excited about the amended 35-day video challenge format which allows students to participate in the competition from home, and gives them an opportunity to learn and develop new skills in a fun and friendly environment.

“Challenges have been designed specifically to encourage creativity and innovation, as well as boost the skills needed in the current climate – online team meetings, remote work, task delegation and goal setting, time management, thinking outside the box, and creative presentation skills.

“Students should use the hashtag #DYI2021 when posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and our team will be tracking hashtag activity across the three platforms “.

Each challenge from the approved list has a difficulty rating attached to it, and students need to complete at least fifteen of the challenges. The final task will include some editing as students are required to put together a compilation of videos, presenting the challenges they have completed on camera.

A combination of score results based on creativity, difficulty, innovation, and new skills will determine the winners of DYI 2021. Entrants are asked to state their name and school(s), and mention the specific challenge they’re completing at the commencement of each video.

Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific commented “This year’s prize pool is a massive €2000, with ten finalists receiving €100 each, plus additional awards for “Best team submission”, “Best Individual Submission” and some ad-hoc prizes. The overall winner can win €750 as part of a team project or €400 as an individual entry.

“It’s fantastic to see support from local and multinational companies, and the judges are always amazed at the quality, ambition, and creativity of local teenagers. There will be an online Zoom meeting with students in mid-March to discuss any technical issues and provide inspiration with a guest speaker talking on technology and Innovation”.

Winners will be announced at a Zoom final on April 30th that will include screening of the ten finalists’ videos. 

Further details are on www.droghedayounginnovators.com .

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