Thirty-seven students from across four local schools have been participating in a challenge to find Jersey Post an ecological solution that eliminates unnecessary journeys to empty postboxes across the island.
The Postbox Challenge is designed to create an innovative solution for a very real logistical issue Jersey Post is facing. Currently, there are 120 postboxes across the island that the organisation must visit daily, however, not all postboxes may have mail in them to collect. This challenge aims to come up with a technical solution that identifies the empty postboxes, saving Jersey Post time and resource whilst also reducing its carbon footprint by reducing unnecessary journeys.
In February this year, the Postbox Challenge commenced in collaboration with Skills Jersey and Digital Jersey when Key Stage 4 students were invited to participate. Nine teams of students from Les Quennevais, Victoria College, Jersey College for Girls and Beaulieu have been working hard over the past 12 weeks to develop prototypes that they will present to a judging panel on Wednesday, 9 June.
Graham Single, Head of IT at Jersey Post, said: "In creating the Postbox Challenge, we wanted to inspire young innovators to use IoT technology to solve a real business challenge for Jersey Post and at the same time assist us in meeting our ecological ambitions. As a pioneer in using operational technology, the Postbox Challenge allows us to help young people develop marketable skills for careers in the technology sector."
The Postbox Challenge team have been visiting schools and providing students with mentoring and resources to develop a functional design. In addition, several online training sessions and a presentation from Hannah Shellswell, Creative Director at Freedom Media, on how to market and present their products to the judges, has helped students with the technological challenges and the skills required to present their ideas.
David Roworth, Senior Advisor at Skills Jersey, said: "This creative problem-solving challenge is a fantastic example of a real-life business issue that promotes an operational technology career path whilst raising awareness of IoT technology. It will assist the students in their development and help them improve their digital skills and gives them a real insight into local businesses that they may not necessarily associate as a career choice in the technology sector. It is always fantastic to see a collaboration between local businesses and education that equips students with work-based digital skills."
The nine teams will present their prototypes to a panel judges this Wednesday, 9 June, at the Digital Jersey Academy. Joining the panel are Professor Andy Stanford-Clark, Chief Technology Officer at IBM UK and Alexia McClure, Chief Operating Officer at Jersey Business.
There will also be an awards ceremony on Tuesday, 15 June, at the Digital Jersey Academy, where Tim Brown, Jersey Post's CEO and Senator Kristina Moore will present the awards to the students.