9 April 2019

Students from across the curriculums at West Nottinghamshire College have put their best talents, ideas and inventions forward in a competition to test teamwork, innovation, originality, technology and sustainability and community work.

Student FIRST was first launched in 2018 to raise students’ aspirations and reward their innovative and ground-breaking ideas and this March saw the second of the competitions to be rolled out college-wide. FIRST stands for Future Innovation Recognising Student Talents.

The competition challenged students to carry out a charitable activity of any description with one successful team being shortlisted. The innovation side to the competition sought learners who could formulate creative ideas for an activity, such as identifying a gap in a market, looking at a solution for a problem and developing the idea through research and teamwork.

Eleven groups of learners participated in total with ideas ranging from a mechanical litter picker, eco clothing production ideas, promotion of a homeless charity through messages on mannequins, computer game development, You Tube software tutorials and an Egyptian mythology eyeshadow palette.

On Wednesday (3 April) the board of college governors presented the trophies to the carefully judged winners of both the innovation and charity categories. Judges, who consisted of Mark Williams, Jane Hawksford, Rebecca Joyce and Steve Sutton, who are members of the governing body, chose these winners in a Dragon’s Den-style showdown in March.

The top charity category prize went to a group called Homeless Guerrilla, which consisted of four business students. Their concept of guerrilla marketing would depict a student dressing up in objects, and with mannequins and bins in stereotypical homeless attire to promote homeless charities. They also planned on having competitions such as notes and facts hidden in pockets of the dressed up items to gauge awareness and understanding.

Eighteen-year-old business student Michel Jaroszewski collected the trophy on behalf of his fellow contenders Kamen Bird, Maurice Aryee and Corey Stainton, which was presented by chairman Sean Lyons and fellow governor judges Jane Hawksford and Rebecca Joyce.

Winning innovator trophy was presented to Sam Fearn, a 20-year-old Level 3 Beauty Make-up student, whose Egyptian-inspired eye make-up ‘Pharaoh’ was created with ancient history in mind and assessed for historical accuracy and relevance to each shade.

Wider learning manager Helen Wood said: “It made me incredibly proud to see just how many amazing minds we have amongst our students, which goes to prove they will be an asset to any employer in the future with their wealth of creativity and intuition.”