St Robert pupils scoop Sunderland Work Discovery prize

Vicki Manghan from day sponsors Calsonic Kansei with the winning team from St Robert of Newminster.
Vicki Manghan from day sponsors Calsonic Kansei with the winning team from St Robert of Newminster.
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A 360 degree in-car camera to help drivers capture evidence in the case of an accident put a Washington school on the road to success.

Pupils at St Robert of Newminster Catholic School came up with the idea for the Business Schools Challenge, held as part of this year’s Work Discovery Week.

Some of the ideas they came up with were astonishing. It would have been daunting for many adults to stand up in front of the panel to present, along with them having to take questions from the floor.

Paul McEldon

Eight schools pitched business ideas to a panel of judges at the Stadium of Light, with St Robert named overall winner.

Ideas ranged from an in-car breathalyser to a gadget which would allow battery charge to be transferred between devices and a healthy breakfast muffin for people on the go.

Other projects included a Virtual Individual Control Interface, which allowed housebound people to send someone shopping on their behalf but with the opportunity for them to see the items on the shelves.

The runner-up prize was awarded to Southmoor Academy for their app, Intervice, which helped job hunters with a range of support services covering everything from what to do at an interview to what to wear.

Pupils presented their ideas to a panel which included representatives from Work Discovery Week sponsors.

Work Discovery Week co-chairman Paul McEldon said the pupils had been extremely impressive: “Some of the ideas they came up with were astonishing.

“It would have been daunting for many adults to stand up in front of the panel to present, along with them having to take questions from the floor,” he said.

“They were so confident and we were all absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of work and research which went into their submissions.”

The challenge was the final event in this year’s Work Discovery Week, with more than 1,000 pupils having been involved across the week.

Work Discovery Week forms part of the year-long Work Discovery Sunderland programme which includes specific sector days and guest speaker days.

The event was sponsored by a range of key businesses including Accenture, Nissan, the University of Sunderland, Sunderland College and Make It Sunderland, along with Arriva, Unipres, Calsonic Kansei, Gentoo, Leibherr UK, North East LEP, the Bridges and Northern Print Solutions. SAFC, the North East Chamber of Commerce and Sunderland City Council are also key partners of the Work Discovery Sunderland programme.