expert judges_meet tom

Our Maker category judge, Tom Ward, is the Founder of Tech Camp, a leading residential technology camp for young people. He tells us what to expect at Tech Camp and what he is looking for in Future8 Maker Category entries! We asked Tom:

Can you tell us about your own background?

“I started off as an electronic engineer, working on the design of hardware and software.  I also worked for many years in education.  Now I get to combine the best of both worlds – teaching others about how to be creators of technology and not just consumers.”

What can Students expect at Tech Camp?

“We run five weeks of events where hundreds of students come from all around the UK and Europe to find out how to design apps, write computer games, build robots and even create their own model rockets.  At our flagship residential events campers can choose from over a dozen course options to study.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how our robotics goes this summer – we’ve designed a flexible robotic platform for this which we’re hoping to use as the basis of a ‘build-your-own-fire-fighting robot’ contest!”

Do you think that Creativity and Technology are interlinked? Can you tell us about how this comes to life at Tech Camp?

“Definitely. There’s as much art as science to good design with any form of technology.  Game design is an obvious example where artists and programmers collaborate.  Even writing the computer code itself is a highly creative exercise – the best programmers typically solve problems in a highly creative way and the result can be works of art!”

What are you looking for in Maker Category Entries?

“We really want to understand your invention idea and why it’s awesome – so provide as much information as possible to really wow us!

If you are submitting an entry idea OR even a working prototype make sure you clearly present your ideas so we know exactly what you have in mind!

  • Use drawings and descriptions to explain how you invention would work and what materials you would use etc.
  • Tell us how it will make life easier and better!
  • Tell us about you and where you got your inspiration from
  • Create one document (.doc/.pdf) that holds all your information and images in once place, these are your blueprints!
  • Make these blueprints as neat and clear as possible so we can see your great idea clearly!”


You’ve heard it from the expert! If making and inventing robots, rockets and more sounds like your idea of fun, check out Tech Camp – and of course enter The Future8 Awards Maker category – check out our site for details on what to submit!

Check out Tom’s Tips and Inspiration blog post here for more great advice on how to impress our expert judges for a chance to win a trip to LA and become and engineer for a day with our Maker Category Sponsor Belkin!

Get creating!