Manchester City Council partners with Dicey Tech to create an innovative design challenge to crowdsource trophy designs for the Manchester Adult Education & Skills Awards, while supporting young learners in building digital skills

July 1, 2021

June 24th marked the first annual Manchester Adult Education and Skills Awards, organised by the Manchester City Council’s Work & Skills team, to celebrate adult learning and share success stories from the many initiatives running in the city.

In line with the region’s innovative spirit, five of the awarded trophies were crowdsourced through a design competition launched among secondary schools and hosted on Dicey Tech’s project-based learning platform.

Despite uncertainty and issues caused by the pandemic, teachers from the 12 participating schools demonstrated their resourcefulness and resiliency, helping to manage more than 1000 students taking part in the challenge.

Councillor Gavin White, Executive Member for Housing and Employment, Manchester City Council, said:

“Although the awards themselves were all about recognising adult learners and those who teach them, it’s great that schools were also given the chance to get involved and play a part in designing trophies for the awards.

“Not only did pupils learn lots of new skills, they were also able to see real results at the end of their hard work and had the satisfaction of seeing their designs made into actual trophies and presented to winners – all of which was a fantastic experience for them and really helped bring their learning to life.”

The challenge started with a warm-up project, where pupils learnt how to use 3D design tools by recreating a character from the popular game ‘Among Us’. Armed with new skills, students then took on the design challenge – to design a trophy that symbolises and embodies learning. The best design submissions were collated and posted on Dicey Tech’s website for a public vote.

Trophy Design Winners

After more than 3000 votes, the 5 winners are Jack Potter from Greater Manchester based, Copley Academy, 3 students from Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy, Manchester, and Sohaib from The Manchester College.

Alex Alexandrescu, co-founder and CEO of Dicey Tech said:

“We were delighted to work with the City Council and with local schools, to celebrate learning through such a creative competition. Teachers are usually very busy people, and the pandemic only increased their workload, but it was inspiring to see their dedication and engagement throughout this process – from project delivery to promoting the vote!”

Apart from bragging rights, each student won 5x Smart Home Project Boxes for their school, which will enhance STEM clubs and summer school activities. In addition, their designs were 3D printed and awarded to the winners of the Adult Education & Skills Awards during the live festivities.

“The Academy is delighted for Jack, he takes a great interest in STEM and deserves the reward of having his design chosen as a winner. Well done to Jack and a massive thank you to everyone who took the time to vote” – Copley Academy

“Taking part in the trophy design challenge was a lovely activity to do towards the end of the academic year. My animation students got to work in 3D for the first time and this was a brilliant introduction as it is so structured and supportive. We definitely want to take part next year.” – Katy (Manchester College)

“It was brilliant to work with the students on an alternative application of the skills they have built this year. The materials were clear and fun to use and every learner enjoyed producing a 3D asset using some real creative flair and imagination. We chose to run the project over a relatively short period of time and the learners were able to demonstrate the skills that a modern day employer is asking for. It was great to have a winner from our entrants and a big thank you to Alex and the team for offering all learners the chance to participate.” – Ben (Manchester College)

Big congratulations again to all the students and teachers who took part in the challenge, as well as to the Adult Learner Award winners and organisers for a successful and inspirational first event!

About Dicey Tech

Dicey Tech is an edtech company on a mission to empower young learners to innovate and create technology in response to global challenges.

The company connects education with industry through their innovative STEM project boxes and learning platform, where students build knowledge, skills, and gain career insights directly from industry professionals.

About Manchester Adult Education & Skills Awards

The Manchester Adult Education & Skills Awards is an initiative to celebrate the programmes and achievements of adult learners in Manchester. This initiative is part of the Manchester Adult Education and Skills Plan, which aims to make Manchester the best city for adult education and skills by 2025.