Around 60 year 8 and 9 students from Redbridge took part in the grand final of the Young Dreamers Awards on 6 June 2023.
The brainchild of CGI, one of the world’s largest IT and business consulting services firms, the awards sought to promote STEM subjects and careers to young people in a way that was fun and inclusive.
Students from Caterham High School, Oaks Park High School, and Chadwell Heath Academy arrived at the ultimate round of the competition at Lord’s cricket ground as the best teams from previous rounds.
As they set out their projects on the presentation stands, it was clear they were keen to impress the panel in this friendly but high calibre competition.
The students were treated to a cricketer’s dream tour of the grounds, before coming back to present to a panel of C-suite judges from CGI, NCA, Ministry of Justice, and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Benefitting from mentoring from CGI employees, the best science, technology, engineering and maths teams from the schools faced the following challenges that drew out their soft skills as well as STEM thinking.
Judges on each panel made their excruciatingly difficult decisions based on how well the teams had addressed the challenges as well as their teamworking, research, creativity and presentation skills. It was tough. There could only be one winner in each category.
The STEM Challenges and winners
- SCIENCE – Design enhancements to their area for their local council to help reduce their carbon footprint and become more nature positive (Government).
- A plastic return scheme for local shopping centres (Chadwell Heath School).
- TECHNOLOGY – Technology that can replace old systems and support rehabilitation within prisons (Justice).
- Virtual Reality rehab and therapy – giving inmates a way to experience the outside world whilst in prison. (Chadwell Heath School).
- ENGINEERING – A collaborative wellness space for use by NCA employees (Public Safety).
- A detailed and well thought out wellness space, offering activities such as star gazing and gardening (Chadwell Heath School).
- MATHS – Design a Charity Event as a marketing team for the Prevention of Young Offenders Charity (Public Safety).
- An escape room that increases awareness of young offending whilst raising money for charity (Caterham School).
Students spoke enthusiastically about the Young Dreamers project. “I’ve really enjoyed seeing other people’s ideas for how they have approached the challenges.” Said year 8 student from one of the winning teams from Chadwell Heath Academy.
The future of STEM careers is bright with passionate young people who already have their sights set on the stars. “I’ve enjoyed seeing other teams’ projects and of course I like these subject because I know I want to be an Astrophysicist” another Chadwell Heath Academy student told us.
Sarah Murray, Director of Local London praised the initiative saying “The students showed impressive creative and collaborative skills in every challenge. I am extremely impressed with how committed CGI are to living their values and engaging with young people in our boroughs.
STEM subjects and careers are for everyone. As well as helping students learn about and see themselves in different STEM-related careers, we’ve gained an insight into the brilliant minds who will be joining the workforce in the future. Our team would love to help more employers like CGI to get involved with schools across our boroughs. This has been an excellent initiative!”
Maya Spence, Consultant at CGI said “Local London supported us every step of the way through CGI Young Dreamers – from partnering us with Redbridge schools to volunteering on our innovation days to supporting us at the final. We could not have pulled off CGI Young Dreamers London 2023 without them and especially Yim Wan Stezycki’s help. We’re very proud of the students from Caterham, Chadwell Heath and Oaks Park. Their exhibitions were fantastic and the presentations very professional. Thank you to the Local London Careers Hub team and we are looking forward to 2024!”
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