Rarely do we see the innovative abilities of school children demonstrated so well as in the winning entries to national design competitions. But do these competition entries tell us anything more about the nature of children's design-and-make activities? This article takes a look at who enters what in the Design Council's annual Design Prized competition.
Entry forms for the years 1980 and 1981 give details of the age and sex of each entrant and the intended purpose of each device entered. Table 1 shows that while the overall participation rate of girls is about 15% of the total, their involvement in the competition is minimal after age 14. Girls' relative disappearance from the competition in the older age groups is consistent with the pattern of their involvement in CDT public examinations (see 'CDT - What's Missing?' this issue).