Electric cars, online security, the effect of technology on businesses and the complexity of patenting were among the topics covered in a schools business challenge at Plymouth University.
The second annual business presentation competition, organised by Plymouth Business School and the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre, attracted entries from across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.
Teams from Wadebridge School impressed the panel of judges, taking first and third place, with students from the Castle School in Taunton completing the top three.
The competition was open to pupils from Years 10 and 12, who had to prepare a ten minute PowerPoint presentation on one of four themes: sustainability, technology, enterprise and diversity.
Elena Novakova, Network Adviser in the Plymouth Business School, coordinated the competition. She said:
“This was the second time we have held this competition, and the pupils researched and created some very interesting projects. They worked alongside our current student ambassadors to improve their presentation, communication and team-working skills. And I hope they have gained confidence in public speaking, learned to work under pressure and to a deadline, and developed their research skills and analytical thinking.”
The participating pupils were given the opportunity to research their topic and prepare material prior to coming to the University, and had a morning to work alongside student ambassadors to finish and practise their preparation.
They then presented their work to a panel consisting of: Dr Hilary Duckett, Director of Plymouth Business School; Dr Tasawar Nawaz, Programme Manager for Business and Business Administration; Professor Andy Phippen, Professor of Social Responsibility in IT; Ricky Lowes, Lecturer in English as a Foreign Language; and Julian True, Outreach and Recruitment Officer.
The winning team from Wadebridge School won four £50 Amazon Vouchers, the second place team from Castle School were awarded four £25 vouchers, and the third place team from Wadebridge received four £10 vouchers.
Andrea Boden, Head of Business Studies at Wadebridge School, said:
“This is the first time we have entered the competition, and our Year 12 A level business students eagerly volunteered to take part. They all thoroughly enjoyed the day and felt the student ambassadors were particularly helpful in giving them help on how to polish their presentations. As a teacher, I think this is a great opportunity for young people to perfect their presentation skills and develop their confidence.”