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Schools Design Exhibition

V&A Dundee asks students how to improve their school lives

An exhibition of school pupils' creativity was launched on Monday 14th March by V&A Museum of Design Dundee, following a four-month project which worked with over 1,000 young people.

The Schools Design Challenge asked S1 pupils from Angus and Dundee to creatively respond to the question "How could you improve your school or school life?"

Pupils were asked how they could change their everyday environments using support from learning resources provided by V&A Dundee, as well as the expertise of their teachers.

Over 250 teams submitted creative responses to the challenge, which included designing a friendship club, an outdoor bird-watching shelter, an anti-bullying robot that listens to pupils' concerns, and a 'worry app' to let pupils share their anxieties and seek support.

Ten teams were picked by an expert panel to develop their ideas with the support of professional designers. These ten teams will now have their ideas – and films documenting their inspiring progress – shown in Dundee's Overgate Shopping Centre from Monday 14th to Sunday 27th March.

Schools Design Challenge is part of V&A Dundee's pre-opening programme, which has been running since 2014. This project was supported by funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery, along with generous support from the William Grant Foundation.

Joanna Mawdsley, V&A Dundee's Learning Manager for Schools, Young People and Families, said, "Learning and community engagement are absolutely central to the work of V&A Dundee, and the Schools Design Challenge is the latest project where we're using designers and design approaches to inspire people.

"Working with these creative, inspired, intelligent young learners, and seeing the challenges they're facing as they move into secondary school has been very moving. It's become very clear through this project that our young people greatly value the opportunity to be involved in shaping their schools, their education and the world around them."

The schools featured in the exhibition are Arbroath Academy, Baldragon Academy, Braeview Academy, Brechin High School, Castlepark Education Centre, Craigie High School, Grove Academy, Morgan Academy, St Paul's RC Academy and Webster's High School.

Judith Steele, a teacher at Morgan Academy, said, "From the outset, the pupils seemed to really engage with the Schools Design Challenge. They worked so well as a team, and had a fantastic opportunity to work alongside a talented designer who brought out the very best in each of them.

"It allowed them the chance to consider how design is relevant to their everyday lives, and that they have the tools to make a difference. V&A Dundee has captured imaginations in a real and tangible way and this is our chance to inspire a lifetime of creativity."

The exhibition is free and open to the public. It can be found on the first floor of Dundee's Overgate Shopping Centre, outside Debenhams, from Monday 14th to Sunday 27th March

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Students work with a professional designer from V&A Dundee on one of their ideas to improve their school life