North East Knight takes lead on BIG PIE Friday Challenge for schools

After the success of last years’ largest ever Enterprise, Engineering and Coding Education Challenge that involved over 1,000 pupils, 21 schools and 50 businesses, this year’s is planned to be even bigger and better.  The hugely successful, popular and industrious Sir John Hall has agreed to take the lead on this year’s BIG PIE Friday Challenge taking place on the morning of Friday 31st March.  The challenge will see primary schools from across Tyne & Wear, Durham and Darlington compete against one another.

Targeting 9, 10 and 11 year olds, this unique, exciting and ambitious Challenge will engage inspire and educate future generations in enterprise and Science, Technology, Engineering, Enterprise and Maths (STEEM) based activities.

The BIG PIE Friday Challenge is being delivered free to schools over three stages. The first stage being two timed activities, one engineering and another Coding based, on the morning of the 31st March. Five schools from each area that are the quickest at completing the tasks will go through to the second stage where they will each undertake a full day of enterprise.  The students will plan, create and sell something with support from local businesses, complete a formal qualification, and then be judged on the profits they have made.  The Challenge will culminate in an awards ceremony in Newcastle in June 2017.

Each of the Schools will be allocated a PIE’Oneer – someone from industry – to help them through the challenge and independently validate the competition.

Ammar Mirza CBE, Trustee and Founder of the PIE Project Trust Charity explains, “The level of support and interest last year from all across the public, private and third sectors for the Challenge was overwhelming.  We had small and big businesses coming together to support our common purpose, focused on improving life chances and enhancing life choices for young people regardless of their background. 

Organisations already committed to supporting the pupils this year include Teesside University, Federation of Small Business (FSB), North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC), Blue Kangaroo, County Durham Community Foundation, North East LEP, Asian Business Connexions, and the SME Centre of Excellence. 

Sir John has been a huge supporter of our work over the past 4 years alongside the likes of Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie, inspiring pupils through school assemblies, sharing life experiences and presenting students with their certificates.  In fact as a local successful entrepreneur, the students study Sir John as part of the NCFE Enterprise Qualification.  I am absolutely delighted that Sir John has agreed to spearhead this years’ campaign.

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