2019 Competition Winners

Product in a Tin Competition

2019 Winners

Click here to find out how to enter the current competition 

See competition winners from other years


award-155595__1802019 Competition Winner: Arjun

Congratulations to Arjun from Whitefriars School in Harrow who is the winner of the 2019 Product in a Tin competition. Arjun was a year 10 student when he designed and made his entry with the support of his teacher Ms Shah and technician Ms Amdur.

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Arjun designed and made a travel maths game to teach young children about addition and subtraction. It was made from a combination of laser cut wood and polymer. 

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Games and toys are a popular entry to the competition and what particularly stood out about Arjun’s entry was the thinking behind the design and the ‘story’ he told about his entry, both through his detailed application form and the sheet of instructions he produced on how to use the game. 

The information Arjun gave about his product showed he had a clear focus on the user and their needs, along with how the product functioned to address these requirements. This meant the product had a clear and specific learning purpose rather than just being described as a ’toy’ . 

Maths game

To play the game marker on the wheel is spun to select the type of calculation to be done, and then the dice is rolled twice to choose the numbers that will be added or subtracted (with the highest number always going on the first pillar). The child does the calculation and puts the correct number of discs on the final pillar. Everything comes apart to fit neatly into the container size as specified in the original brief.

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Although a relatively simple idea to manufacture the entry involved quite a lot of handling of materials to produce 3 stands, the addition, subtraction and equals signs and the selector spinner (the dice is a prebought component). The product also required some skill in terms of manufacturing identical products, getting the right tolerance levels for the rings to fit the stands and for the stands to sit tightly into the bases but still be able to pull apart so they would fit into the original size restriction stated in the brief. 


Arjun won £50 worth of gift vouchers for himself, along with some design resources. He also won his own dedicated portfolio page on our website which he can use to showcase his design work in the future. 

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As well as prizes for himself Arjun also won resources for his school including a class set of Crumble microcontrollers complete with half a day’s training for his teachers, and a Husqvarna Viking H Class 100Q sewing machine. 

Below are the prizes being presented to Arjun at his school (seen here with Ms Amdur, the department technician, who worked with Arjun on the project and Ms Sharma, Arjun’s new teacher as Arjun’s original teacher Ms Shah no longer works at the school).  

Teacher’s at Arjun’s school also received half a day’s training on the Crumble microcontrollers that were part of the main prize. 

Crumble Paul Boyd

HUGE thank you to Coles Sewing Centre, Nottingham & Husqvarna Viking, as well Mindsets who sponsored the prizes Arjun has won for his school. Find out more about the prizes.

competition prizes

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Runner Up: 2nd Place

Dylanyear 9 student (teacher Mrs Godley, Tibshelf Community School, Derbyshire). 

3 in 1 cape tent bag

Dylan designed and made a waterproof 3 in 1 cape, bag and canopy suitable for camping. The whole cape folds into the pocket on the front to create a shoulder bag, with the lightweight ripstop nylon folding up small leaving lots of room for carrying other items. The hood has laser cut acrylic toggles made by Dylan, as well as ties and polymer clasps bought as ready made components which are around the sides of the cape to transform it into a canopy.

The judges liked the fact the product had been designed to have a number of uses and although there have been capes entered into the competition in previous years this one really stood out because of the multi functional design. Dylan’s application form and the photos he sent in with his entry explain in some detail how his product was designed and how it could be used and this information also helped give his entry the winning edge as it helped the judges understand the thinking behind the entry. 

Dylan wins £20 of gift vouchers and some design resources. 

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Runner Up: 3rd Place

Laurenyear 9 student (teacher Mrs Adkins, Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School in Aylesbury)

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Lauren designed and made a child’s learning toy to develop dexterity and motor skills through the use of different shapes, textures and materials. Toys and puzzles are a popular entry to the competition and what made this entry stand out was how Lauren had combined wood, polymers and textiles using the properties of each material to develop the design.   

Lauren wins £10 of gift vouchers and some design resources. 

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#InspiredBy Awards

There were lots of fantastic entries many of whom came close to being in the top three. The #InspiredBy award category acknowledges entries that really stood out to the judges in some way and which they felt were particularly interesting entries. These entries, along with the winners, will be showcased with teachers over the coming months to help inspire creative projects and ideas. Each of these entries wins a small design related prize to acknowledge the hard work and creativity of the students. 

The entries below are listed in no particular order. 

Magnetic toy

Vivek, year 10, Whitefriars School, Harrow (Ms Shah). Construction toy using magnetic acrylic triangles to create shapes. 


Lindsey, year 9, The Stourport High School, Stourport-on- Severn (C Middleton). Rolled plastic straws melted to create charms which have been strung onto elastic, along with a metal clasp. 

light baghelping handflowers in a tinGolf gamewipe clean bibPlastic wallet

Finlay, year 9, Tibshelf Community School, Derbyshire (Mrs Godley). Night visibility bag to hang on a school bag on the journey to & from school in the winter. Batik and embroidery stitches have been used, along with laser cut buttons with a glow in the dark coating. 

Charlie, year 8, Horsforth School, Leeds (Mrs Carrara). Prototype of a ‘Helping Hand’ that sits inside a glove and which hooks onto a pram to give busy parents another pair of hands. 

India, year 8, The Minster School, Nottingham (Mrs Bassett). “Flowers in a Tin’ gift made from acrylic, styrofoam, papier-mache and pipe cleaners.

Niall, year 8, Horsforth High School, Leeds (Mrs Carrera). Game inspired by golf to improve hand eye coordination. Made from 
acrylic and glass. The ramp is placed at the end of a table and the ball is rolled up the ramp to land in the hole without tipping the ramp over.

Annie, year 8, The Lakes School, Cumbria (Ms Anderson). Double sided bib with one side made into a wipe clean surface using lamifix. Matching tissue holder. Both have embroidery decoration. 

Jasmine, year 9, The Stourport High School, Stourport-on-Severn (C Middleton). Purse made from melted plastic bags with a metal button that has been enamelled and which uses elastic as a fastener. 

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Tegan, Year 8, Baxter College (Miss Alldritt). Jewellery holder made from metal wire held with plastic tubing. 

friend in a tin

Abi-Leigh, year 8, The Minster School, Nottingham (Mrs Bassett). Friend in a tin designed to welcome refugees made from textiles with an acrylic and pipe cleaner flower. 

LED light

Tina, year 8, The Minster School, Nottingham (Mr Mellor). LED candle holder made from laser cut wood with coloured polymer films. 


Daisy, year 7, The Radclyffe School, Oldham (Mrs Jones). Paracord dog collar made using recycled metal components as well as a name tag recycled from the back of an old watch. 

Crochet hat

Tasnia, year 7, The Radclyffe School, Oldham (Mrs Jones). Crochet teddy bear hat for a child with embroidery, button and bead decoration. 

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Merit Awards

Merit awards are issued to entries that the judges thought were interesting and which might be used as part of the competition display which is showcased at different teacher courses (only where space permits). These entries win a very small design related prize.  Entries are listed in no particular order. 


Farm toy (wood & textiles), Mason yr8, The Taunton Academy (Mrs Male)
Key holder (wood, polymer, metal), Jack yr9, The Minster School (Mr Mellor)
Ring & bag (polymer, textiles, paper), Anahitaa yr9, St Clement Danes (Ms Georgiou)
Fold up cutlery (polymer, metal), Cacey yr 9, St Clement Danes (Ms Georgiou)
Surgical facemask (textiles, polymer), Stephen yr8, Horsforth School (Mrs Carrara)
Whiteboard jigsaw & box (polymer, wood), Poppy yr 8, Darland High School (Ms Mann)
Jewellery (paper, polymer, metal), Anusha yr 9, St Clement Danes (Ms Georgiou)
Sensory cupcake (textiles, polymer), Charlotte yr 10, Cornwallis Academy (Ms Rawlins)
Earphone tidy (wood, polymer), Milo yr 9, Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School (Mrs Adkins)

Merit 2

Recycled pencil case (textiles, polymer), Emily yr 7, Darland High School (Mr Jones)
Keyring (textiles, polymer, metal), Jaiden, Tibshelf Community School (Mrs Godley)
Finger puppets (polymer, textiles, wood, metal, paper), Ruby yr9, Tibshelf Community School (Miss Godley)
Earphone holder (polymer, wood), Matthew yr 9, Aldersley High School (Mrs Jones)
Toy (textiles, wood, polymer), Scott yr9, The Minster School (Mr Mellor)
Picture frame bunting (wood, textiles, paper), Josie yr 9, Baxter College (Ms Alldritt)
Trinket box (wood, textiles), Isabel yr 8, Darland High School (Ms Mann)
Pushchair toy (textiles, polymer, metal), Nichole yr 7, St Peter’s Catholic School (Ms France)
Sort cube (wood, polymer), Stefan yr 9, Aldersley High School (Mr Edwards)

Merits 3

Mini photo frames & changeable borders (textiles, polymer, paper), Sophie yr 9, Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School (Mrs Adkins)
Travel game (textiles, polymer, metal), Bethany yr 9, Tibshelf Community School (Mrs Godley)

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Teacher thank yous

All teachers that submitted entries receives a free copy of ‘Designing for  User Needs & Design Contexts’ worth £25 (excludes photo entries) to thank them for introducing the competition to their students. 

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Photo entries

Thank you to Abigail, Saffja, Phoebe, Madison, Leah, Paris, AAliyah, Faith, and Remaya, all year 9 students from Kirk Hallam Community Academy and their teacher Mrs Goddard who submitted photo entries to the competition. Photo entries can’t win any of the main prizes but are considered for inclusion on the website. 

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Some of the other entries - can you see yours?

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Other information on how the competition went

Click here to find out how to enter the current competition 

Many thanks to everyone who entered the competition. It has been a real pleasure to see the work of so many students and teachers. This year we were pleased to see a lots of entries across a range of materials, with a range of outcomes from traditional products to more unusual ideas. We were also really pleased to see lots more entries from boys. 

It was good to see more students making use of the application form to explain their idea, justifying decisions, the use of materials and linking the outcome to the user and their needs. Although students aren’t required to send in their design work as part of the competition those that had produced additional information that helped the judges understand the ’story’ behind the entry often had the edge of similar entries where the journey was less clear. 

Many schools ran the competition as an internal school competition with only the best entries being sent to us, so thanks also to those students who took part in the competition at their school but who didn’t enter the main competition. We know some schools also use the competition with their students and for various reasons don’t submit any entries to the main competition. 

This year there was a good spread of entries across years 7 - 10, although this year it seemed to be particularly popular as a KS3 module. The competition was opened up this year to year 5 & 6 pupils for the first time due to requests from teachers. Although we didn’t actually receive any formal entries from these year groups we know some schools used the competition internally. 

Schools used the competition in different ways with some using it as a module of work, others as a series of homework and others as a club. It was also good to see some teachers using the competition as a mock context to help prepare for the NEA. 

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What will happen to the entries?

It’s a genuine privilege to receive the competition entries and we get really excited to open each package. Unfortunately entries can’t be returned but entries play an important part in the work we do; we showcase the work in displays on our courses and the entries are used to inspire projects and resources (with credit given to the student and school). We still regularly use entries from some of the early competitions in the work we do so students who enter can be reassured their hard work is never wasted. 

2019 winners

Click here to find out how to enter the current competition 

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