22 May 2014

A group of Year 10 pupils from King's Heath Boys' Mathematics & Computing College indulged in some ‘blue sky thinking’ about their future at a 3D Design challenge at Cadbury College.

The boys, who are studying GCSE Technology, visited the college to explore the range of careers available in design and to find out what life could be like if they want to become a designer in the future. The workshop was led by 3D Design teacher, Leanne Watkins, who was an automotive designer before entering the teaching profession. The pupils were set a challenge to come up with the idea for a new product for a specific target market.

Working alongside current students at the college, each team was tasked with creating a new product from scratch for either a retired female who likes travelling or a professional pregnant woman. The pupils put their thinking caps on and came up with ideas and sketches for products including a suitcase that communicates with a watch and follows you through the airport, a pregnancy app and a special pregnancy chair that can be used by a mother before and after birth.

Students had to pitch their ideas to the group in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style challenge and received feedback and questions on their products. The students also received a tour of the design workshop and got an insight into a range of design careers.

The BTEC 3D Design course at Cadbury College is taught alongside A Levels and provides individuals with practical skills and knowledge to develop a career in design. Last year, the course celebrated a 100% pass rate, with over 93% of students gaining a Distinction* or Distinction grade, which is equivalent to an A* or A grade at A Level. Previous students on the course have progressed onto university to study architecture, automotive design and product design.

Faculty Director and 3D Design teacher at Cadbury College, Leanne Watkins, said: “The aim of the workshop was to provide a practical but realistic insight into the design world. The pupils got to experience first-hand how a designer works and how ideas are developed, which are both vital for anyone thinking about entering the industry.”

Mike Kennedy, Careers and Worked Related Learning Adviser at King's Heath Boys' Mathematics & Computing College, said: “We were very impressed with the way the pupils took to the challenge. It was very clear from the pitches that we may have a few budding designers or architects in the making.”