Gaia Innovation’s Inspiration for Innovation programme achieves a further 1352 ‘positive meaningful encounters’ with local students

Senior figures from politics, education and industry have further praised Gaia Innovation’s Silverstone Park Inspiration for Innovation schools programme after its latest event to bring students closer to the world of business.

240 Year 9 students (aged 12-13) at Kingsthorpe College, Northampton were visited by 30 management level employees from 20 businesses from Silverstone Park, Silverstone Technology Cluster and other businesses.  All participated in the Gaia designed and managed inspirational event looking at “Succeeding in the 21st Century World of Work.”

This event held at Kingsthorpe College saw the students hearing from our volunteers and participating in several activities involving the volunteers:

The event was opened by Nicola Murphy, Direct Sales Manager, Volvo Cars UK who spoke to the students about the advanced technologies being used in, and the future of the automotive industry, such as self-driving cars, electric cars and car sharing.

The students were then split into four groups to participate in a series of five activities:

  • Media and Communications: Looking at why creative skills are important in the 21st Century World of Work and a focus on the importance of social media advertising for businesses.
  • Automotive Future Technologies: Showcasing the research being carried out in alternative fuel cell cars and a look at the impact alternative fuels will have on the environment and society.  Also a focus on understanding the jobs available within the technology leading industry.
  • Space Technology and Jobs: Showcasing the Satellite Applications Catapult, a look at the advanced technology being used in this sector and a look at the future jobs available in this sector and the skills needed to access these jobs.
  • Positive Mindset: Highlighting the importance of having a positive attitude.
  • Career Speed Networking Event: Exposing the students to a range of business professionals working in 21st Century businesses that operate at Silverstone Park and within the Silverstone Technology Cluster.

The event was closed by Roz Bird, Commercial Director, Silverstone Park MEPC with an inspirational speech about her own personal journey in getting to where she is now.

Kingsthorpe Head Teacher Jennie Giovanelli enthused: “Fundamental to our curriculum is that students leave us with leadership and employability skills.

Today’s Inspiration for Innovation event opens their eyes beyond their immediate community and has been inspiring for them.

Teachers have seen students who don’t normally engage really come to life and something spark inside them.”
She added: “We are incredibly grateful and feel very privileged to be part of such an innovative project which can help us to provide our students with character and currency – we need to prepare them for exams, but of equal importance is that they leave us as leaders and are able to contribute as citizens in their wider networks and take part in great conversations of our time.”

Mayor of Northampton, Cllr Tony Ansell, who attended the event said: “It’s been incredibly important… listening today and everything I’ve seen; for example, it’s wonderful to hear about electric cars and the future and how it’s going to escalate.

“I’ve learnt so much today and the students seemed mesmerised by what was being spoken about. We also have some very good teachers here and facilitators who have given their days up for the good of the future generation so it was very good to see.

James Muir said: “I can honestly say this was the best volunteering experience I have ever had in a school.  Most importantly the school students were positive, friendly, open and willing to learn. I personally met many who showed true potential to be successful in the future, and it was a pleasure to play a part in encouraging them to have a positive mindset and try hard to achieve their goals.”

And Gaia Innovation CEO Julia Muir commented: “Through the attention and encouragement the youngsters have received today from employers, each student will understand better what they need to do to access fantastic job opportunities in advanced technology sectors in the future.  I hope that they will now also have renewed confidence to make the right choices to reach those jobs and achieve their best employment destination. ”