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Day in the Life Product Design Challenge

Day in the Life Product Design Challenge

Imagine your day without essentials and gadgets…

What is the one thing you use every day that you wouldn’t be without? What product makes your life easier?

We mean everyday things that you probably take for granted… clean running water, a toilet, electricity, a mobile phone?

To a child in Uganda these things are considered luxuries… things they do not have. Read about a day in Dignity’s life.

Now imagine if YOU woke up in a mud hut. Everything about your everyday life was changed.

If you could imagine up one thing to make your new life easier, more bearable, perhaps even more fun, what would it be?

A day in the life - Dignity's Story

The Challenge – design an eco product for a Ugandan child

We want you and your class to design a product that will make a difference.

We are asking UK school children to get together as a class to design a product that will make a difference to a Ugandan child.

Using evidence available to you on the Internet, and the resources we provide you with, we want you to design one item, product, thing that would help a Ugandan child.

It could be something to generate energy, play with, ride on, cook with, build with, share, help you learn, prevent disease, keep you clean…. the list of what you can design is endless when you give it some thought.

For children who have so little, so much can be done.
You have until 25th September to design something to make a difference


Click the numbers below to read more about the challenge, then scroll down to register and find key dates.

Some resources to get you started

A day in the life - Dignity's Story

If you haven’t already, read about Dignity.

Dignity is 13 years old and lives in Parabongo, Uganda. She answers questions about her home life, family and school.

Day in the life letters

UK school children wrote letters to the children in Uganda to ask them about their lives. Here are just a few of the replies – they may be useful when you’re thinking about your designs.

Adong InnocentAkera RichardAkumu Eunice 1Akumu Eunice 2Okit | Opiyo JowelOpiyo Richard IvanPiloya DessySonia

What you need to deliver

We don’t want to be too prescriptive as we like to encourage teams to be innovative! However, there are a few things you must produce:

Drawings & 3D Model
5 minute filmed presentation
Team statement

Classes should present in any digital format they wish (e.g. PowerPoint, Prezi etc) and produce 2D engineering drawings (.dwg, .idw, .dxf, etc.) and a design report. The report should include how the class researched their product, how they made decisions, details of special contributions and specifically how their product will be used by a child, and how and why their wonderful invention might change a child’s life.

We’re not restricting the number of pages but something the length of a classic novel may not create the right impression.

Autodesk® Inventor® Digital Model
We want teams to produce a 3D model of their product using some great software that’s free to all schools. Formats can include .ipt, .f3d, .IGS, .iam, .STP, etc.

REVITST2014We’re providing free training and support to teachers. You’ll be well prepared to enable your DT students to learn a fantastic skill that provides a great addition to the CV of any budding designer! And because the modelling software is free for students and teachers to use at home, there’s every reason to give it a go. Access software here >

Inventor® training dates are as follows:

Teachers: To join one of our sessions, please email and quote “INVENTOR TRAINING” in the subject header, specifying which session you would like to attend.

Some options to make the presentation just a little more special

A physical scale model

Teams may also wish to make physical models of their product – we do like real models! They are a little more touchy feely and give those who might not have access to technology a chance to understand the design.

You might even like to use a 3D printer or laser cutter if your school is lucky enough to own one.

You can send photographs with your initial entry, but if you get to the semi finals, you might like to bring it with you – please do think about carriage.

Visualisation via technology

In our experience, young people and tech go hand in hand. Teams can produce working visualisations of their projects to support their presentation.

evening dresses uk

Day in the Life - RegistrationHow to enter


This challenge is open to UK Primary and Secondary Schools. It is a class challenge and your school can enter any number of class teams.

Voluntary entry fee
We are asking schools to contribute a voluntary donation of 50p per student in school to help raise funds to build the Vision Hope School in Parabongo. For example a school with a 1000 student population donates £500.

“Yes it’s voluntary but we’d really love you to support this big build!”

100% of the money raised will be donated to the Parabongo Vision Hope School project.

Key dates

26th June
Registration deadline

25th September
Online Submission Deadline

28th September – 1st October
All entries judged online by experts

22nd October
Winner announced
at the Digital Construction Show, London

Looking for a bigger challenge?


We’re asking UK secondary schools, universities and industry to work together to design an eco-school which will provide 1000 children, age 3-18, with a great place to learn.

Find out more >

Our journey to Parabongo in Uganda

Celebrity Inspired DressesIn 2007, just one year after the war ended, a small UK charity called Seeds for Development began working with very poor farmers and their families. Now supporting more than 1,600 farming families Seeds are helping them move towards a happier and more hopeful life where they eat regular meals, send their children to school, build new and safer homes and even set up businesses.

In the Summer of 2014, Class Of Your Own heard that Seeds were working tremendously hard to try and raise funds to build a new school in the village of Parabongo in Northern Uganda. The village, with a population of 3500, needs a school which will accommodate 1000 children and young people, but it was a task that they desperately needed help with. We said,

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if our school children could design a school for the children of Parabongo?”

After spending the last 9 months working with the fantastic people at Seeds, we’re hugely excited to be running a competition that may just get that school built.

Local Head Teachers James and George working collaboratively to set community ambitions for the Vision Hope School.

“There is a designer in every child. Children have the capacity to solve some of the world’s challenges just by using their creativity and design skills. This creative spirit and natural ability to work in a team gives each and every one of them an amazing opportunity to impact the world around them.

The Day in the Life Product Design Challenge provides children with a genuine chance to change lives and in doing so, learn some real life lessons about the role of design in a country where social, economic and environmental sustainability is a way of life. As an organisation with a long history of celebrating excellence in Design and Technology education, the Design and Technology Association is proud to support this worthwhile competition.”

Richard Green, Chief Executive, Design and Technology Association

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COYO is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff, and others providing services on behalf of COYO, to share this commitment

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