North east schools compete in huge STEM initiative.

‘The largest ever Enterprise Education Challenge is planned to take place across the North East later this month.

Launching on Friday 18th March the BIG PIE Friday Challenge, which is part of the Primary Inspiration through Enterprise (PIE) Project, will potentially see 250 Primary Schools in North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland competing against one another.

Targeting 10 and 11 year olds this unique, exciting and ambitious Challenge will engage inspire and educate future generations in enterprise and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) based activities.

The BIG PIE Friday Challenge will be delivered for free to schools within three stages. The first being two timed activities on the morning of the 18th March to all of the schools that have signed up.

Five schools from each area that are the quickest at completing the tasks will go through to the second stage where they will each undertake a full day of enterprise. The students will plan, create and sell something with support from local businesses, complete a formal qualification and then be judged purely on the profit they make.’ BDaily

‘The PIE project began three years ago when four schools in Newcastle came together to set up a corner shop that enabled pupils to experience enterprise activities firsthand.

Businesses including Northumbrian Water and Your Homes Newcastle supported the scheme and PIE shops now exist in Walker and Fenham, giving children the chance to get nationally-recognised qualifications in enterprise as young as 11.

Since then businesses including Barclays, Microsoft and law firm Muckle have supported the scheme, as have Newcastle College and the business school at Newcastle University. The scheme also received royal approval with a visit from Princess Eugenie (a former student at Newcastle University) last year.

Ammar Mirza, founder of the Asian Business Connections group in Newcastle and the chair of governors at one of the schools involved, said: “The pupils go through real live enterprise activities including developing a CV, applying to become the shop manager for the day, together with being interviewed for the job.”’ – Chronicle Live


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