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Youth tech festival returns after organiser overcomes serious cycle crash injuries

PUBLISHED: 12:33 02 March 2020 | UPDATED: 20:17 03 March 2020

Claire Riseborough, founder of Step Into Tech social enterprise, at the first youth techathon in 2018. The event is to return at Easter 2020 after she overcome serious injuries from a cycle crash. Picture: Denise Bradley

Claire Riseborough, founder of Step Into Tech social enterprise, at the first youth techathon in 2018. The event is to return at Easter 2020 after she overcome serious injuries from a cycle crash. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

A popular festival that inspires youngsters to take up technology is to return after last year’s event had to be cancelled when its organiser suffered serious injuries in a cycle crash.

Youngsters take part in 2018 youth techathon, held at Norwich School. Picture: Denise BradleyYoungsters take part in 2018 youth techathon, held at Norwich School. Picture: Denise Bradley

Claire Riseborough, the brains behind the Easter Youth Techathon, was left with head injuries after the accident on Unthank Road in Norwich.

"I was due to attend the Inspirational Women of East Anglia Awards that day but I ended up in A&E," she said.

"I don't know what happened exactly, I ended up on the pavement head on. A pedestrian picked me up. They were fantastic then a friend took me to hospital.

Youngsters take part in the 2018 youth techathon, held at Norwich School, with help from various mentors. Picture: Denise BradleyYoungsters take part in the 2018 youth techathon, held at Norwich School, with help from various mentors. Picture: Denise Bradley

"I had injuries to my jaw and teeth. My face was a bit of a mess. I was not in a great state and the shock of something like that impacts you, but it could have been much worse."

Her lengthy recovery from the accident, which occurred on her birthday in October 2018, meant the planned 2019 festival could not go ahead.

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However the two-day event that sees eight to 18-years-old have fun exploring technology and taking on tech challenges will return in the Easter holidays.

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It is organised by Step into Tech, which was founded by Ms Riseborough after she struggled to find a social outlet for her then 13-year-old son James to explore his interest in technology with children of his own age.

The 2020 event at the Norwich School will see children compete in teams, helped by expert mentors, to come up with their own tech solutions to problems set by organisations including Aviva, Norfolk County Council and Norwich University of the Arts.

Youngsters taking part in the 2018 youth techathon, held at Norwich School, with the robot they have built to recognise shoes, pick them up and place them. Picture: Denise BradleyYoungsters taking part in the 2018 youth techathon, held at Norwich School, with the robot they have built to recognise shoes, pick them up and place them. Picture: Denise Bradley

Amongst the tasks youngsters will be using technology to address include social care, climate change and how to care for pets.

Ms Riseborough said: "Kids today are growing up surrounded by technology but with the expert guidance of our tech mentors it means that we can take their abilities that they already have with technology and channel them into real problem solving in a really creative way.

"We hope to attract kids from across Norfolk, especially those who wouldn't normally be able to take advantage of such a great opportunity."

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The event, which will be held on April 15 and 16, is being supported by lead sponsor Aviva, together with Norfolk County Council and NUA.

Tickets for the event cost £10 and include lunch, snacks and refreshments on both days. For more information visit stepintotechathon.org

Do you have an education story we should be writing about? Let us know by emailing simon.parkin@archant.co.uk


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