What is Pioneers?
Pioneers is a programme for 11- to 16-year-olds, in which you are challenged to make something awesome using technology. We call this ‘digital making’. Taking part in Pioneers is your chance to create something amazing, learn cool new skills along the way, and maybe even win a whole lot of awesome prizes.
Pioneers is free to enter. Three times a year, for each school term, we’ll set a new challenge to inspire you to get creative with technology. You will then have ten weeks to use digital tech to make your project. To achieve this, you could do anything from programming some music or building a website, to hacking some hardware, building a prototype, using a 3D printer, and much more besides. Working on a Pioneers project is an inventive and hands-on way for you to use digital technology, instead of just checking your email or creating a PowerPoint presentation. The clue is in the hashtag: #MakeYourIdeas
You’ll also have to create a video about how you made your project and about what you learnt along the way. Your video is what we’ll use to judge your entry, so you need to make sure it shows off the cool stuff you’ve created, and what exactly you did to create it.
You can form a team with your mates, or at your school or an after-school club. Another option is to come along to one of our Pioneers events, make some new friends, and work with them. Your team can have two to five members.
You’ll also need an adult to register as your mentor. This person will help you get organised and lend a hand if you get stuck, or just hold the video camera!
Have we mentioned all of the awesome prizes and swag? Every team that registers gets a load of goodies in the mail, and then more once you’ve submitted your project. If your project is one of our favourite entries, you’ll also win some prizes, and you’ll get to take part in an awesome and exclusive event. No matter whether you win, you will also learn a bunch about technology, working in a team, creating your own videos, and you’ll have loads of fun along the way :)
You don’t have base your invention on a Raspberry Pi if you don’t want to – we just want amazing creations and wicked videos, no matter what you use to make them. As long as it’s digital technology, anything goes. You don’t even need to use code if you don’t fancy it. All contraptions, inventions, machines, apps, games, software, and thingummy-whatsits are welcome!
Need a bit of help getting started with purchasing components? Thanks to our friends at the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund, we have bursaries available to help cover the cost of some basic equipment for some teams. The bursaries are for young people that haven’t taken part in digital making activities before, and who might need some financial assistance to get started. If you think your team is eligible, send a short email explaining why to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to see some of the awesome ideas people have made in past seasons of Pioneers?
GlassBox Taunton Pioneers Summer Challenge