Creative Science Students Tackle Dragons’ Den Challenge with Ingenuity and Innovation

The students’ pitches covered a wide range of science-based ideas, including sustainable materials and sources of renewable energy. Each team demonstrated creativity, in-depth market research, and a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities within their chosen areas.

Mandie Stravino OBE, DCG’s CEO formed part of panel of four judges from the DCG’s Senior Leadership team, alongside Kate Martin- Deputy Principal, Carol Dixon – Director of Employee Partnerships and Melanie Lancer – Vice Principal.

The panel heard presentations from five groups of students, who had spent four weeks working with their mentors from DCG, including the second year T Level Science students, who were able to share their experiences from last year.

Each team had to show how their concept would impact on commercial activities of science organisations and specifically around one of the following aspects: government policies, availability of materials, market demand and environmental concerns. In addition to a well-thought-out presentation, they had to produce a business plan to support the concept.

The judges were impressed with the quality and creativity of the proposals, which highlighted the potential of these young talents to drive positive change and make a significant impact in the science and technology sectors.

The winning team’s concept was entitled Re-bicycle, and detailed how gyms could be powered by exercise bikes. And not only did they demonstrate that this would this be cost-effective, but that it is also really good for the environment. They also went on to show how this could be commercially viable. The winning team are being rewarded with vouchers.

Mandie Stravino OBE, DCG’s CEO said: “The presentations have been amazing and have shown how, in a relatively short time, they have developed their entrepreneurial, teamwork and employability skills and delivered some great concepts.

“I would like to thank all the students who have worked so hard and also their mentors, especially the second year students who have helped guide them, leading up to today.”

Josh Arnott (16), one of the three competitors of the winning team commented: “It was great experience to be able to research and develop our idea. And with guidance, we were able to show how our concept would work commercially. We all learnt a lot. And whilst we were all nervous, the dragons were encouraging, not really that scary!”

And Teacher of Science, Linda Horsburgh, who organised the event, concluded: “Everyone was astounded by the professionalism, content, and quality, and not to mention the thought-provoking concepts. Each and every student who participated in this project demonstrated a high level of commitment and dedication, and they should all be proud of the results.”

All five student teams will now enter a national competition run by Imperial College, London, where their ideas will be judged along with hundreds of other entries. The competition is designed to motivate young people to engage with science and develop a new and innovative scientific solution to help achieve one of the United Nations Sustainability Goals. Finalists will be invited to Imperial College’s main campus in South Kensington in the spring.