Birmingham Made Me Schools Design Programme launched as Midlands Manufacturers power ahead

Birmingham City University were delighted to host today the launch of the Birmingham Made Me Schools Design Programme.
This takes an innovative approach to engaging school pupils in actively designing and making products for the future around the themes of Live, Play and Move, focussing on sustainability and well being.

Over 120 young people from 11 schools across the West Midlands gathered at BCU’s Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment, for an action packed event involving designing and making challenges, engaging 3-D print machines and business people to highlight the many areas where design and innovation are making ‘all the difference’ in terms of our ability to compete internationally.

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Black Country Atelier’s Paul Verdeyen provided inspiration from a combination of traditional and new technologies, highlighting examples of excellence, including Morgan Motor Cars, Acme Whistles, Edward Perry, Jaguar Land Rovers recent successes and Aston Martin, including the 3-D print model exploded in Skyfall, saving the film company £225k.

Students’ eyes were opened to the possibilities brought about by applying technology, creativity and business skills, including through the creation of the amazing Prometheus helmut, used in the film of that name and produced in Birmingham by CMA Moldform.

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Bill Good, Chief Executive, Diverco, emphasised the diversity of opportunity for careers in design and innovation offered to young people today and covering sectors as diverse as jewellery, home interiors, aerospace, automotive, engineering, steel,  fasteners, street furniture – and this was just the businesses he had worked in!  In reality the limitations on opportunity were bounded by the imagination of the individual, he stressed.  Speaking about the event he said, “It is so important to stimulate the creativity of the young. They are our future and I congratulate the organisers of this event for playing their part here.”

Organiser of the Schools Design Programme, Will Evans, Amery Brothers, said, “It’s been fantastic to see the enthusiastic response of the pupils here today.  The commitment by the schools to be involved in the Design Expo and to engage with businesses, including the design giants across the Midlands, is tremendous and we are keen to facilitate this wherever we can.”

Beverley Nielsen, Director Employer Engagement at Birmingham City University said, “As the practice-based university for Birmingham we recognise that we play a vital role in training the talent required for our businesses into the future.  As home to many inspiring design based courses at the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design, including fashion, textiles, visual and product design, in Technology and Engineering, as well as in our Birmingham City Business School and our School of Media, we are keen to ensure young people realise what exciting careers they can build right here in the Midlands and that companies can access the talent pool of amazing young people we are committed to providing the best opportunities for as they develop.

“We have constructed an exciting Schools Design Programme and all schools are welcome to join in.  It is building towards our Schools Awards Event in early May when we will recognise and celebrate the creativity which was certainly more than evident at our launch event today.”

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The 11 schools attending the launch of the Birmingham Made Me Design Competition included :

  • Barr Beacon School
  • Bournville College
  • Broadway Academy
  • George Dixon Academy
  • King Edward VI Sheldon Heath Academy
  • King Edwards Five Ways
  • Pedmore Technology College and Community School
  • Perry Beeches 2 The Free School

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For more information contact Beverley Nielsen at Beverley.nielsen@bcu.ac.uk