Washington students’ vision of the future scoops prize
~~A GROUP of 14-year-olds who created a vision of the future have beaten schools from across Sunderland in a business challenge. A team of pupils from Biddick Academy, Washington have been named the overall winners in a problem solving exercise, carried out as part of Work Discovery Week which was held in Sunderland recently. The school beat off competition from 13 other schools, after being marked the highest for their presentation on what Sunderland would be like in the year 2050. Ten business experts from organisations including Sunderland City Council, Nissan, car parts manufacturers Calsonic Kansei, Accenture and TWR heard the presentations before putting the young people on the spot with a series of quick questions. The problem solving challenge took place at the Stadium of Light on the final day of Work Discovery Week, with the overall winners announced this week. A team of 15 youngsters from the schoolâs Gifted and Talented group worked on the challenge, with four of the team presenting to the audience. âIt was great fun to do and quite a challenge,“ said Megan Boddy, 14, one of the young presenters. âBut it was a great experience and one which Iâm sure would be useful to us all in the future.“ Michelle Brown, from Calsonic Kansei which sponsored the final day event, said she was overwhelmed by the ability of all the young people who took part. âCalsonic Kansei was both proud and delighted to support the Work Discovery Week,“ said Michelle Brown, HR Director who was also part of the business panel. âThis is the second year we have supported this inspirational event which brings employers and schools together.Â
âAll the schools really put a lot of thought into the presentations and did an amazing job but Biddick really was exceptional.“ .All the participating schools were given a choice of five business-related questions and had to come up with a three minute presentation to showcase their ideas. In addition to pupils being asked to envisage how Sunderland might look in 2050 and to come up with solutions to ensure young people donât leave the North East for jobs elsewhere, other problems included ways of encouraging young people into a career in engineering, how to boost tourism in Sunderland and how to get people to set up new businesses in the city. Work Discovery Week saw more than 1000 pupils from across Sunderland engaged in a whole range of activities in an event supported by Sunderland City Council, SAFC and North East Chamber of Commerce. Gary Hutchinson, Commercial Director of SAFC and co-chair of the Business School Task Group, which created Work Discovery Week to build strong relationships between Sunderland schools and the regionâs top businesses, praised all the young people who took part. âItâs difficult for adults to stand up in front of a group of their peers and make a presentation so itâs full credit to all the young people who took part and presented with such confidence,“ he said. âAll the schools did a superb job and full credit to Biddick Academy for doing such an accomplished presentation and being worthy winners.“ Work Discovery Week is supported by a range of businesses including Nissan, catering giants Bidvest 3663, Arriva, Gentoo, University of Sunderland and Sunderland College with additional support from The Bridges, Accenture, Liebherr Works Sunderland, Northumbrian Water, TRW Systems and Grundfos. The event is also now to go ahead next year, running from June 29 to July 4. .
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