Latest News | 16 November 2023

Students impress at Dragons’ Den-style science challenge

DCG (Derby College Group)
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Students at Derby College Group tried out their pitching skills at a Dragons’ Den-style challenge, which tested their ingenuity and innovation.

The Level 3, first-year T Level students recently took part in the challenge at the college’s Roundhouse campus.

Their pitches covered a wide range of science-based ideas, including sustainable materials and sources of renewable energy.

Each team demonstrated creativity, in-depth market research, and a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities within their chosen areas.

Mandie Stravino OBE, DCG’s chief executive, formed part of a panel of four-person judging panel, which also included judges from the college’s senior leadership team – deputy principal Kate Martin, director of employee partnerships Carol Dixon and vice-principal Melanie Lancer.

The panel heard presentations from five groups of students, who had spent four weeks working with their mentors, including the second year T Level Science students, who were able to share their experiences from last year.

Each team had to show how their concept would impact on commercial activities of science organisations and specifically around one of the following aspects: government policies, availability of materials, market demand and environmental concerns.

In addition to a well-thought-out presentation, they had to produce a business plan to support the concept.

The judges were impressed with the quality and creativity of the proposals, which highlighted the potential of these young talents to drive positive change and make a significant impact in the science and technology sectors.

The winning team’s concept was entitled Re-bicycle, and detailed how gyms could be powered by exercise bikes.

Mandie said: “The presentations were amazing. In a relatively short time, they developed their entrepreneurial, teamwork and employability skills and delivered some great concepts.”

Science teacher Linda Horsburgh, who organised the event, said: “Everyone was astounded by the professionalism, content and quality, not to mention the thought-provoking concepts.

“Each and every student who participated in this project demonstrated a high level of commitment and dedication, and they should all be proud of the results.”

All five student teams will now enter a national competition run by Imperial College, London, where their ideas will be judged along with hundreds of other entries.

Finalists will be invited to Imperial College’s main campus in South Kensington in the spring.

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