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We were delighted to run a new online Design and Technology Competition, 'Reduce through Reuse', in partnership with Doha College and InnovationBen.

The competition, "Reduce through Reuse", was a great opportunity for students to demonstrate creativity and innovation related to product design.

The competition ran from the 26 September to 14 November 2022 and was suitable for all KS3- 5 students who enjoy problem solving and designing and making products from waste.

Students identified and obtained suitably broken, disused, or discarded electro-mechanical products and breathed new life into them using innovation combined with model-making skills to solve a problem. 

Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to all schools and students who took part in the competition.

"I'm really impressed with the breadth of ideas, resourcefulness and the ingenuity of the students"
Competition Judge (Design Manager at Dyson)

COBIS D&T Competition Winners 2022 Video

Category Winners
Please see the winning videos at the bottom of this page


The British School in the Netherlands


Oxbridge Tutorial College, Lagos, Nigeria


Azerbaijan British College


Competition Details

Success Criteria

  • The finished product could be anything useful that solves a problem. Students should be able to explain how their concept can be used or operated in a new or different way. 
  • The finished product should have cost nothing to produce and must be made of recycled/discarded objects. Students will be expected to provide a breakdown of any costs.
  • The final product does not need to be fully finished if, for example, complex robotics software or coding is required. The concept should function in some manual manner and students should be able to explain where the concept could be taken with further work. Prototypes do not need to be ‘highly polished’.
  • Students should consider what real value they can add to their product. They should be focused on more than aesthetics.


Potential Outcomes

This brief is intentionally broad as we won’t know what you have access to.  

Examples of outcomes include:

  • An old bicycle transformed into a trailer that could be used for a mobile business.
  • A broken radio-controlled car fitted with a new motor, and the constituent parts turned into a ‘robotic’ kitchen gadget.
  • Discarded LED string lights stripped and sewn into clothing to make cyclists more visible.
  • A discarded bicycle wheel transformed into a kinetic sculpture.

Students should be encouraged to push the boundaries and learn new skills to enable their ideas to come to life.

Health and Safety

All staff who register their school and take part in the competition have a duty of care for their students. Staff must assess the risks associated with the materials, tools and machines students will be using before they engage in any practical activities and only suitable qualified staff should work with students using power tools and machinery. It is recommended that students do not work with high voltage mains circuits. COBIS, Doha College and InnovationBen cannot take any responsibility for any injuries caused to students or staff during activities related to this competition. Students choosing old electrical items must be clearly directed towards battery-powered or low voltage products. A qualified teacher/electrician should visually and electrically inspect potential objects to ensure their suitability and safety. Students should be encouraged to carry out a risk assessment which is a key part of the design process.


Projects should be able to be completed within a normal D&T workshop or classroom. The emphasis should be on simple repeatable processes with minimal machinery to achieve the desired output to make the project as accessible to as many students as possible.


Entries should be in the form of a video that is no more than 3 minutes long. All video entries must include a clearly stated team and school name. Upon registration, you will receive an online form to upload your entry. 

Schools can invite as many students/teams as they'd like to participate. However each school can only submit one entry that they consider to be the most innovative. 

Submissions will close on 14 November 2022 at 4pm (GMT).


The judges will comprise of qualified practitioners from industry or a non-competing school. These judges will review and score the entries against the challenge criteria. Judges may invite selected entrants to attend a Zoom interview to find out further details regarding their entry if required. Three winners will be announced.

Judges will be looking for the following criteria within all video submissions.

1. Project concept - From the submitted evidence, it must be clear that the students were the driving force behind their creative and unique solutions to the set challenge. 

2. Project process - From the submitted evidence, it must be clear that the students have used the design cycle, iteratively, to solve a problem. This could be related to the mechanism of the concept or the materials selected to achieve the team's aims.  It should be evident that product testing and analysis have taken place to ensure that what has been created is robust and reliably solves the initial problem.

3. Project outcome - From the submitted evidence, it must be clear how well the outcome solved the challenge. Entries should include images of what the object used to look like and what it has now become, ideally with steps in between and reasons for certain decisions which communicate design thinking. How have students brought previously discarded item back to life?  What worked or failed, and how did they learn from that process to reach the solution? Is their concept saleable? If so, how much would it now be worth? If it’s simply operational again, what did it take to make that happen and have they learned from the process?

4. Personal skills - From the submitted evidence, how well did the students deal with problems or challenges they faced? How well did they communicate with each other, clients, or customers? What went wrong during the project and how did they reflect and learn from any failures?  What skills have they learned that they could now pass on to others? Could they run lunchtime skills workshops to empower and upskill their fellow students?

Winners and Prizes

There will be 3 winning teams celebrating the following key attributes:

  1. Innovation - Clever or unexpected outcome given the starting object.
  2. Resilience - Bouncing back from failure. 
  3. Storytelling - Most innovative presentation, helping us to fully understand the gravity of what was built, the problem it now solves and the effort required to bring it to life. 

Winning schools will be invited to receive online mentorship, support, and advice on their students' projects from Ben Edmonds, Principal Engineer and Chief Innovator at InnovationBen.

Winning teams will receive a unique and innovative trophy engraved with the team name and date. If shipping to the winning team is not feasible, a digital alternative will be provided that can be laser cut and assembled.

All participants will receive a digital certificate proving their participation in the competition.