JN Junior: How can we use technology to help solve real-world problems?

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JN Junior: How can we use technology to help solve real-world problems?

Israeli students and space, winners of our JN Junior Writing Competition and four great things to do this month, are all included in this week's section for younger readers!

The big question

What real-world issue would you use technology to help with and how?

Genius Jake says: Technology has become a massive part of our lives, even more so since the pandemic as people all over the world moved online, whether to communicate with loved ones, work, shop or, of course, home-school! And let’s not forget gaming. But there is a lot more to technology than getting social. People are using technology to tackle the world’s urgent social and environmental challenges. This is known as ‘tech-for-good’ and could help all sorts of issues such as poverty, pollution and people’s mental health.

For instance, did you know there’s a company that uses tech to help homeless people get training for jobs (Beam)? One that creates alternative packaging to plastic (TIPA)? And there’s a device that can help blind people to read (OrCam)! Technology is also used in schools to help teachers to teach, and improve the way we learn. If I could come up with a tech-for-good company, it would be an online book-borrowing website that sends requested books to children who can’t afford to buy their own.

Henry Seymour, age 10, North London

Henry Seymour, age 10, North London

Some elderly people have been very lonely over the pandemic, especially during lockdowns.

Research has shown that they enjoy the company of young kids and this improves their wellbeing.

That is why I would create K+A (Kids + Adults), a website where the elderly could interact with kids by messaging on chat or video calling.

This would allow them to play games, music and enjoy events together remotely, from anywhere in the world.

Good News!

Israeli students and space

Earth in space.

Satellites designed and created by Israeli students have been sent into space! The eight satellites lifted off from NASA’s launch site in Florida using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launcher as part of Tevel (which means ‘world’ and ‘strong’ in Hebrew) Project led by  the Israel Space Agency and the Science and Technology Ministry.

The junior high school pupils got to watch the launch live via a NASA video. The satellites will be used to carry out various tasks and experiments and control of them will be possible through communication stations in several locations in Israel.

Just for laughs, with Ivor Baddiel

What did the police officer say on seeing three members of an orchestra’s string section carrying their instruments?

Cello, cello, cello

Moving and inspiring words

Congratulations to Esti Cohen, 15, left, and Ariella Joseph, 11, who have won our JN Junior Writing Competition. They moved the judges with their entries themed around grandparents and what they have learnt from them. Ariella impressed with her beautifully detailed cartoon entry about her grandad, who left Iraq aged 14 to come to London.

Esti Cohen, 15, left, and Ariella Joseph

Esti’s entry was a poignant and emotive poem about her grandma. They will both receive £100 of Amazon vouchers. Judge Ivor Baddiel said: “Esti’s poem was beautifully written and made me cry, and I loved the originality of Ariella’s cartoon and its inspirational message.”

New book by ‘Captain Calamity’

Dov with his book

Best known as the popular bubble-blowing entertainer, Captain Calamity (aka Dov Citron) has written a children’s book!

“I love that you can travel anywhere within a story and write about whatever you feel. I had taken readers down into the sewer, into space and across the sea so it was time to go deep into the ocean and let my imagination swim about.

As my rhyming story grew, it became a story about friendship, being kind and the importance of having somewhere to call home.”



Four things to enjoy this month

Peter Pan – Tiny Mites

Join Peter and Wendy as they fly to Neverland in this magical production of Peter Pan – Tiny Mites that is perfect for young children. On Sunday 27 February at 2.30pm.


Beano Exhibition at Somerset House

You can still see Roger the Dodger, the Bash Street Kids, Dennis the Menace et al at Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules exhibition at Somerset House until 6 March.


Half-term at artsdepot

Dear Zoo

The artsdepot in Finchley has half-term covered for all ages. Younger children can enjoy a production of Rod Cambell’s Dear Zoo that includes puppetry, songs and, of course, all the animals from the zoo from 12 to 14 February. Those aged eight and up can set sail on a Viking adventure brought to life through storytelling, animation and live music in the production of Vinland: A Viking Adventure, a true(ish) tale of the Vikings’ last journey to North America. There are two showings on 18 February.


Imagine Festival

The Imagine Children’s Festival is the largest (and mostly free) arts festival for kids of its kind in the UK and is dedicated to families experiencing art and culture at London’s Southbank.



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