St Michael’s students tackle Bosch Smart Future Challenge to solve local transport issues

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We’ve been working on a pilot challenge with St Michael’s Catholic School in High Wycombe to give Year 10 students an insight into STEM careers by tackling real-world problems with the help of Bosch STEM ambassadors.

The Bosch Smart Future Challenge took place during an off-timetable day in November, with the team from Bosch providing mentoring support to the students throughout the day to help teams develop their ideas.

The Ambassadors also shared their experiences in STEM and advice for starting a career, giving students an insight into all the different routes you can take into a career in STEM.

The Challenge culminated with Bosch UK President, Steffen Hoffmann, personally attending a prize-giving ceremony at the school in December.

The global technology company, which has its UK headquarters in the Buckinghamshire town of Denham, provided feedback to all 140 students who took part.

The teams of Year 10 students had to identify two mobility issues in their local area and come up with two solutions to solve them. Ideas included electric vehicle charging lanes and cars with built-in breathalysers. The students demonstrated their creativity, presentation, problem-solving and team-building skills, and learnt how they could solve real-life problems in their local area.

The winning teams will attend an exclusive screening at Pinewood Film Studio. Ten students will also be offered a work-experience placement at Bosch.

Monika Grosch, Careers and Work Related Learning Coordinator at St. Michael’s, said: “We saw really fantastic engagement. The Smart Future Challenge stands out because it involves every student, even those who don’t see themselves as strong in STEM subjects. I think that’s very important. Engineers need creative skills too and this project really shows that, as well as giving students the chance to work on solutions to real world problems.

Jackie Campbell, Skills Development Manager at Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “What an event! The Bosch Smart Future Challenge educated, engaged and inspired the students about careers in STEM and the future of mobility, and was a great example of what schools and businesses can achieve when they work together.”

Bucks Skills Hub is now looking at how we can expand this challenge for the next academic year. Contact jackie@btvlep.co.uk if your school is interested in taking part.