GLOUCESTERSHIRE students gathered today at GCHQ to be judged on their creative and innovative business ideas.
Seven teams of Year 9 students, from four local schools, were competing in the final of the ‘Intelligent Innovators’ inter-school competition, run by the Gloucestershire Education Business Partnership and sponsored by GCHQ.
Loosely based on TV’s Dragons’ Den, the competition is aimed at encouraging innovation, invention and enterprise amongst students. All the finalists qualified for the event through winning similar competitions in their own schools.
A ‘Dragons’ Den’ panel made up of representatives from GCHQ and the Education Business Partnership judged the teams’ creative ideas. To add to the occasion, Jamie-Leigh Clayton, the Special Merit Award winner at last year’s Institution of Engineering & Technology’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards, spoke to the students about the value of innovation.
The panel considered the originality and usefulness of the students ideas, how the teams propose to market them, their understanding of the costs involved, and also how well they pitched their ideas to the ‘Dragons’.
The winning team, from Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham, impressed the judges with a ‘Calorie Crunch’ idea to help people measure and regulate their calorie intake. Following receipt of a trophy and commemorative shields, team captain Emily Long , said: “It was a really enjoyable experience, everybody in the team put in a huge effort and what we’ve learnt throughout will really help us in our Business Studies”. All the other teams received certificates to mark their achievement in getting to the final.
A spokesman for GCHQ said: “We were pleased to host and sponsor this new and exciting event. It is through these sorts of competitions that students are able to develop the creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills that will help make the UK more competitive in the 21st Century.”
Kevin Jones of Gloucestershire Education Business Partnership added: “To get young people thinking about business and the kinds of innovations that would benefit them are key to the future prosperity of the country. We are delighted to partner with GCHQ in an event that provides a platform for that type of thinking
Notes for the Editor
GCHQ is one of the three UK Intelligence Agencies and works to protect the UK’s national security interests. It has been engaging with the local community, including raising the profile of Science, Engineering, Maths and Technology (STEM) subjects in schools, for many years.
About Gloucestershire Education Business Partnership
The Gloucestershire Education Business Partnership works to build links between
local businesses and schools throughout the county by supporting the employees of tomorrow in leaving the education system with the skills needed in a modern working environment.
About the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
The IET is one of the world’s leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community with offices in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Every year it runs awards to honour the very best female engineers under the age of 30 working in the UK.
Schools involved in the Intelligent Innovators
The Following schools took part in the Intelligent Innovators inter-school competition final:
- Millbrook Academy, Brockworth
- Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham
- Gloucester Academy
- Wycliffe College, Stonehouse