A team of pupils from Broadclyst Community Primary School (BCPS) in East Devon and another from Gyan Mandir School in India have flown out to Seattle to be awarded trophies in the 2017/18 Global Enterprise Challenge (GEC).
Meeting for the first time, the two teams celebrated their achievements as young entrepreneurs, participated in a Skypeathon with children from schools across the world, met Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education, Microsoft, and were given a tour of the prestigious Microsoft headquarters on 18 February 2019, the date of the official launch of the 2019/20 Challenge.
The GEC is organised annually by the innovative Cornerstone Academy Trust (TCAT), based in the south west of England. Involving teams of children in both primary and secondary schools in 20 different countries around the world, it is an initiative that was developed by TCAT together with Microsoft to encourage schools to create partnerships and be part of a collaborative global community. Participating schools use the Microsoft Office 365 platform to incorporate business skills - including product design, market research, manufacture and marketing - into many different elements of the curriculum and put children’s learning into a real-life context.
Over 50 schools took part in the 2017/18 competition, connecting more than 1000 pupils from across the globe. Teams of children, in both junior and secondary age groups, all had to select, pitch, develop, produce and market products, producing reports and keeping detailed accounts. The range of products was extensive – from keyrings, cookies and clothing to fashion, toys and recycled goods. Currently, the 2018/19 Challenge is well underway.
The judging was led by Mark Sparvell, a Microsoft Education Leader based in Seattle. The BCPS team was the primary school winner with their Trendy T tie-dye t-shirt business, while the Gyan Mandir School Smoothie Crown team was victorious in the 12-15 age category.
TCAT CEO and Headteacher Jonathan Bishop added: “This challenge is truly unique in its emphasis on collaboration. The sharing of ideas, discussion and feedback transcends distance, culture and economic situation and sets positive values and skills for the children’s future as global citizens.”
Registration for the 2019/20 competition is now open. Schools from anywhere in the world are invited to join this global community and encourage their pupils to take part, with the aim of communicating and collaborating not only with the other children in their team but with the other teams across the world.
For more information go to www.gec.education