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Mini 'dragons' enter the Daresbury den

Cheshire primary school pupils gathered at Daresbury Laboratory for the annual Epic Steps Conference for Children – including a Dragon’s Den style session where they grilled a business owner about their product.

Epic Steps is a social enterprise with the aim of developing awareness and values around leadership, careers and social responsibility. The Daresbury conference was for 70 children aged 10 and 11.

The first session of the day was presented by Neville Freeman, the CEO of Nanoflex Ltd; a sensor design company based at Daresbury Laboratory. Nanoflex is creating technology which will enable people with diabetes to monitor their glucose levels through a wearable device, much like a smartwatch, and without the need for needles. After pitching his product to the young audience, he was then grilled by the mini dragons with questions about the technology and how he runs the business.

The year six classes were from Manor House, Weaver Vale and Kingsley schools – all in the local Frodsham area. Wendy Cotterill from STFC’s Public Engagement team spent time telling them about the amazing science and technology which takes place right on their doorsteps, as well as engaging them with an inspiring story based around space technology, and what career choices STEM subjects could give them.

Following on from this, the pupils learnt about the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals and were asked to complete an exercise imagining they were talent pioneers for organisations with a strong sustainability agenda.  They chose candidates for their businesses based on the right match of personal strengths. The session encouraged them to think about the routes they could take in their future careers. They also completed team exercises to rethink the product lifecycle of the Nanoflex technology. Children found ways to reduce waste and save energy and then sell the product in a colourful poster session.

Rounding off the day, Head of Daresbury Laboratory Susan Smith presented each school with a unique 3D printed trophy that had been made on site – leaving them with a lasting reminder of the varied and interesting routes that they can take in the future.

Read the full story of the Nanoflex technology here.

Find out more about the work of Epic Steps by visiting their website.

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Last updated: 02 July 2019


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