Inspirational thinking from a group of our Sixth Formers has been rewarded with the ‘Rolls-Royce Prize for Innovation’ at a Parliament Week event at Derby Cathedral.
The annual Parliament Week event is organised by the Bishop of Derby, Alastair Redfern. As part of his role as a member of the House of Lords, Bishop Alistair is keen to engage with young people about the British political system. The event was attended by Dame Margaret Beckett MP and Julia Goss, Head of Innovation for Rolls-Royce, and included a series of innovation workshops led by Rolls-Royce staff.
Students were challenged to debate ideas to improve Derby’s environment, which were then pitched in the ‘Big Idea Forum’ to the ‘Green Dragons Panel’.
A Level students Olivia Brown, Hannah Preston, Holly Kalinins, Charlotte Juffs, Joe Travers, Rebecca Elvidge, Elizabeth Varley, Myriam Ocholla, Nyasha Mteta and Harry Fitzpatrick came up with the idea that pressure plates should be fitted to roads when repaired or newly built.
The students argued that the pressure plates would have the dual purpose of energy recovery and controlling lighting. The pitch was awarded the ‘Rolls-Royce Prize for Innovation’. As a result they have been invited to a personalised tour around Rolls-Royce in order to inspire future innovation.
Year 13 student, Charlotte Juffs says: “We were split into different teams and tasked with developing a novel, yet effective, eco-friendly device to help people in Derby. We did this through an innovative process called synectics which allowed us to brainstorm possible ideas. This was a valuable practice as it allowed us to experience alternative ways of thinking and processing our ideas in a concentrated way to maximise our results.
“The other main aspect of the event was a talk we received from Dame Margaret Beckett MP. She put a strong emphasis on how, as young people, we have the potential to influence the future of the planet. That not only lies in our own abilities, but our right to indirectly influence government policy by voting.”