Bosch Smart Future Challenge
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First steps towards a Smart Future
What does smart future mobility mean to a 15 year old and how does STEM relate to this?
This is a question we need to answer when piloting the Bosch Smart Future Challenge for Year 10 students at St Michael’s Catholic School in High Wycombe, Bucks. The school is the first to participate in a never-been-done-before Bosch bespoke STEM activity in the UK, which gives students the opportunity to share their ideas on how smart, innovative technologies could improve mobility in their local area.
Run in collaboration with the STEM Ambassadors, the competition draws on Bosch’s expertise in smart solutions and Internet of Things (IoT) and challenges students to think about the wider implications that these technologies will have on their day-to-day lives, particularly in the area of mobility and transport.
The competition demonstrates the importance of research, development and strategic management skills as a foundation, and a core strength, for any STEM career. It also requires a high level of cooperation and teamwork, accurately simulating the requirements of many real-life STEM projects. The students will be split up randomly into groups of 10 by their teachers and will be required to come up with two transport challenges and solutions based on the preparation tasks they completed in the last week. They then have to pitch this to a judging panel of STEM Ambassadors and senior members of the school faculty in a 5 minute presentation using only some flipchart paper and posters as visual aids.
To introduce the Smart Future Challenge, Bosch’s STEM Ambassadors will visit the school on the 14th November for the initial briefing to get the students excited about the topic of mobility and set the preparation tasks. The actual Challenge Day will take place one week later on the 20th November and will see students identify transport issues in their local area and propose two solutions to resolve these. The STEM Ambassadors will be on hand to mentor the students throughout the day and to help them fine-tune their final pitches.
The top three teams will be announced on the 4th December during a prize-giving and feedback session back at St Michael’s school, awarded by President of Bosch UK, Steffen Hoffmann. Prizes include a private screening at the world-famous Pinewood Studios Cinema for the top 3 winning teams, as well as 10 reserved spots for students from Year 10 to complete a week of work experience at the Bosch UK Headquarters in Denham in May next year. Finally, the school will also receive a £500 donation, which is to go towards funding future STEM activities.
“At Bosch, one of our main Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) objectives is to aid local government in addressing the pressing STEM skills gap in the UK,” says Paniz Mojahedi, Marketing and Communications Specialist at Bosch, who is coordinating the company’s STEM activities. “We want to be able to open young students’ minds to the realisation that a career in STEM means solving society’s problems for a smarter future. Re-imagining mobility is a big part of that. We want to ignite a passion for science, technology, engineering and maths, particularly at critical pre-A-Level stages where future career decisions are made.”
“The Smart Future Challenge is our biggest STEM initiative yet and we are thrilled to have St Michael’s students pilot it with us. This will be a fun project, but it will hopefully also serve as inspiration for young people by meeting real-life STEM industry associates and discovering the wide array of opportunities in these fields for their future.”