BU invited local schools to consider the UK’s future needs within the Government’s Industrial Strategy. The proposed themes were the role of robots and artificial intelligence, transportation of goods, the growth of creative industries, and sustainability. Each team was invited to deliver a in the form of a prototype, presentation or sales pitch.
A judging panel of BU Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney, Conor Burns MP and BU staff heard from each of the teams before announcing that the team from St Peter’s Catholic school as the winner and the team from Bournemouth School for Girls (BSG) as runner up. Pupils from these two Bournemouth secondary schools will tour Parliament next month and receive an industrial challenge award from Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Jonathan Downes, Careers Coordinator at St Peter’s, whose team’s winning pitch described an artificial intelligence learning tool, said: “The students spoke to a wide range of people to hear their opinions. They interviewed Year 7 students about their worries for what the future, asked local businesses what skills they would be looking for in future employees and also arranged a meeting with Bournemouth Borough Council’s Digital Economy Manager, which really showed them how planning for the future starts now.
“The team are delighted that all their hard work in planning and their interactive presentation of their prototype paid off, and they are very much looking forward to their visit to Parliament.”
David Parfitt, Head of Design & Technology at BSG, said: “The team were really enthusiastic about working on a project to address a real problem, forcing them to gain an awareness of current, environmental, social and moral issues.
“It was a great opportunity for the students from different groups to work together generating creative solutions to real problems developing their communication and presentation skills. They are extremely excited about their visit to the Houses of Parliament, which is a fitting reward for all the effort and hard work that went into the task.”
Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West, attended the event and said, "I was delighted by the response from local schools for the Schools' Industrial Strategy Creative Challenge. The young people really engaged and came up with some superb ideas for the future. It was apt to do this challenge in partnership with Bournemouth University which plays such a crucial and increasingly important role in delivering economic growth locally. I'm looking forward to taking the winning teams to Westminster so they can share their ideas in person with the Secretary of State Greg Clark."
BU Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney said: “We’re very proud of our links with schools and colleges in the region. It’s great to be involved in an event that looks at the broader national challenge around industrial strategy and the opportunities it presents for the younger generation to get involved and help find some of the solutions that we need as a country.”
He added: “It’s all about creativity and innovation and that’s what society and the economy needs – new ideas, fresh thinking and good engineering solutions.”
To read more about BU’s outreach activities, click here.