Students set hi-tech agenda

An initiative which gets pupils from Doncaster schools to solve real problems facing industry could be bigger and better than ever before this year, according to organisers Business and Education South Yorkshire.

The Doncaster Technology Challenge starts with a series of workforce development days, which involves teachers touring the businesses that are involved and getting some hands on experience of working in that sector.

After the tour, the teachers sit down with the businesses and decide on the challenges that pupils will tackle back in the classroom and which are judged by the businesses later in the year.

Mary Milburn from Business and Education South Yorkshire said: "Technology Challenge is in its tenth year, it is really well known amongst the local business and educational community and is something that both students and businesses find really worthwhile.

"The challenges that the businesses set are really closely aligned to genuine business issues and the students are asked to provide a solution, giving them a valuable insight into the business and the career opportunities that lie there.

"The teacher placement days are a great opportunity for teachers to gain a much better understanding of the different types of role that exist within that organisations and the sector as a whole. They can then ensure that the challenge is relevant and meaningful."

Previous Technology Challenges have included designing a container to separate three types of glass for recycling, creating a new variety of pie, designing a leisure facility and producing a display stand for an international exhibition.

Businesses already involved include Bridon, The Topping Pie Company, Kuehne and Nagel, Sainsburys, Cooplands, Mount Pleasant Hotel, Strata, Ardagh Glass, CH Power Tools, Polypipe, Frank Haslam Milan, Northern Racing College, Fellowes and Dawn Environmental.

Businesses can still get involved in the 2009 Technology Challenge. For more information call Mary Milburn at Business and Education South Yorkshire, tel: 01709 336 700.

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