Over 100 students from Marden Bridge Middle School took part in the enterprise day in two, 2 hourly workshops designed specifically as an introduction to business and enterprise with the aim of inspiring the next generation of young creative entrepreneurs…

Introductions to TICE Mentors Lee Casey (Enterprise) and Mark Pattinson (Graphic Design) were made, followed by a look at the core skills the session would develop and bring together. Including those of team working, communication and presentation skills. As well as how students research ideas, use their initiative and work independently.

Students were asked, ”Who do you consider to be entrepreneurial?”. Shout outs of David Beckham, Zoella and businessman Richard Branson were named. As well as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg too. It was also discussed how entrepreneurs can be local business people and Lee talked about inspirational Dan Ellis, founder of Whitley Bay’s incredibly successful community cinema the Jam Jar Cinema.

Next, it was time for the first team building challenge.  A hypothetical scenario, created to give the teams of 5 the chance to design and make a ‘glass’ sculpture which they had to name & present back to the group.  The ‘glass’ being balloons and teams were only allowed to use the materials supplied including 15 balloons, 4 sheets of A4 paper and a roll of tape.

With excitement, some groups launched into blowing up balloons straight away whilst some took to brainstorming their sculpture ideas and planning a more strategic approach.  The air very quickly filled with laughter and the odd scream too as inevitably some balloons popped!  Given 30 minutes to complete the task, teams had to work together to build their ‘sculptures’ to make sure they finished on time.

At the 30 minutes, ‘it’s over’ shout, a mix of sculptures was presented, some a little deflated and loosing ‘air’! Others stood tall, steady and having fulfilled all of the task criteria. Lots of laughter and excitement followed as students explained their sculptures as the popping continued around us!

This task is a lot of fun but also gives students ideas on how they might change the dynamics of the team for the task ahead as it is useful to consider how they organise themselves and how they can work collectively to a deadline.

In the second hour of the session led by Graphics Mentor Mark teams asked to identify a gap in the competitive app market with groups working together to brainstorm, plan, research, design and present their idea at the end in a 2-minute pitch. Drafting their ideas, discussing logos and working through the processes of designing an app from concept to creation…

The range of ideas always inspires as they can be something so simple to improve daily life, or they can be the weird and the wonderful reflecting the sophisticated use of mobile technology and depth of creative thinking the students have.  It’s always insightful when teams combine or ‘fuse’ two different creative areas, for example, using the concept of fashion avatars to create a bespoke app to help people with their clothes shopping.

Overall, a very successful day for our young entrepreneurs at Marden Bridge Middle School. So much enthusiasm, hard work and smiling faces! Thank you for having us!