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Gifted and Talented St Benedict’s Students Shine

The Winning Team pictured with Katie Harper, Mrs Kelso and Kelly Stewart

A group of gifted and talented Year 7 students from St Benedict’s Catholic High School have taken part in a special challenge entitled ‘Destination Milky Way.’

The students were set the task of developing the most sustainable options for water and waste disposal, energy production, transport, food production and construction for the colonisation of a new planet.

The day was aimed at inspiring the pupils, but also giving them an opportunity to work with and interact with business people from a range of companies working in and around West Cumbria.

They presented their proposals to senior business leaders, in the culmination of a challenge to develop research skills, project management, communications skills and team working.

Volunteers for the day pictured with Mrs Kelso from St Benedict’s (far right)

Mrs Kelso, Assistant Headteacher at St Benedict’s organised the event: “I was extremely proud of our Year 7 students today. They responded to their challenge by demonstrating an amazing capacity for leadership, teamwork and ability to meet deadlines.”

“They worked independently and made the most of their industrial mentors to come up with innovative solutions.”

“We are extremely appreciative of the local employers for their support in this unusual project.”

Katie Harper from Business in the Community oversaw the whole event, and brought on board key business people to act as World Leaders for the task. These were Kate Wilson from Business Toolbox, Tim Westwood from Newton Rigg and Mark Watters from Prosure Engineering and SharePlant, who is also Schools Enterprise Advisor for St Benedict’s.

Katie commented about the day: “Destination Milky Way Challenge gives the students a chance to manage their time, work as a team and research to develop their own proposals. They also build confidence working alongside volunteers from industry and presenting to senior managers. It is great to watch them grow over the day.”

World Leaders Mark Watters, Katie Wilson & Tim Westwood finalising the winning team with Katie Harper

Representatives from Cavendish Nuclear, Sellafield, Morgan Sindall and Kaefer all kindly volunteered and served as mentors for the day, and each helped an individual team on their project.

Laura McCrickett from Kaefer was mentor to one of the teams, and also supplied prizes for the winning team. She commented: “In my second year supporting the event, it’s clear that Destination Milky Way continues to excite and challenge the students. They fully immerse in the task, and meeting business representatives begins to open their eyes to the opportunities in their local area”

Student, Ethan Smith was on the winning team who had planned the food production for the task. He said: “It was a really fun day, and nice to have a bit of freedom about the way we worked. I would love to do this type of activity again.”

Another student, Adam Garner commented: “I really enjoyed the day and I would like the opportunity to do this again.”

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