Paige Wins Cisco 'Impact on the Future of Manchester’ Award
Sixth Form Student Paige was part of a team awarded the ‘Biggest Impact on the Future of Manchester’ when she took part in the Cisco Pathway To Your Future programme for girls aged 16-18.
Paige and fellow St Ambrose Barlow student Rebecca were fortunate enough to be two of just 30 sixth form students in Manchester chosen to take part in this year’s programme.
The scheme aims to introduce more girls to careers in technology to address the gender gap that currently exists. Over 4 days the girls took part in a number of activities designed to develop skills needed every day in business such as presentation and communication skills, problem solving and team working. Activities included working with the team at the MI Festival and with the BBC to develop a baby app, building the tallest tower, design and build of autonomous vehicles of the future, coding and a robot war! They worked as part of a team to develop tech solutions to social problems and designing a Smart City – a city that uses technology to meet the complex needs of its people. They then had to seek funding for their idea in a Dragon’s Den environment.
At the end of the programme, Paige and her team ‘Lighting Up Manchester’ were awarded the ‘Biggest Impact on the Future of Manchester’ for their idea – streetlamps that illuminate when you walk by, to make Manchester a safer city. Their design will now be pitched to City Verve who aim to develop a blueprint for smart cities worldwide. Paige said: “I’m so proud that my team won and I’m excited how it’s going to turn out in the future. I would love to give a huge thank you to everyone involved in giving us this opportunity.”
Paige, Rebecca and the others were also given an introduction to the IT industry and Cisco with the opportunity to meet senior executives, and given demonstrations of the leading-edge technology used. They were given talks and mentoring from other top businesses including BAE Systems, and also learned about the Digital Apprenticeship and Graduate programmes on offer at Cisco.
The programme was held at Mi-IDEA - an innovation centre located at the heart of Manchester Science Park, where start-ups can grow in confidence and capability, scaling from promising tech to sustainable business. With sponsorship from local and global partners, Cisco and MSP, the centre is designed to foster and nurture digital Innovation in the North West.
Sarah Martin, Programme Manager at Mi-IDEA Cisco tweeted: “Very impressed with the talent at #PTYF great ideas coming from our local colleges around smart cities! Definitely a next generation to be proud of in this room!”