Holmer Green school comes second in European competition

Maddie Hanson, Maxine Arpino James, Amy Kershaw, Charlotte Arpino James and Tara Pinhorn

Maddie Hanson, Maxine Arpino James, Amy Kershaw, Charlotte Arpino James and Tara Pinhorn

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

STUDENTS from Holmer Green took the second spot in Europe for an innovative business idea.

The sixth form team called Magneat from Holmer Green Senior School (HGSS) travelled to Germany last week for the finals of the Hyundai European Skills for the Future competition.

And although they missed out on the top spot they came second out of the 15 teams present for their silicone mat idea.

The Dash Mat sticks to a car dashboard and uses friction bubbles to keep items, such as a phone, secure while travelling.

Five of the 13 team members travelled to Germany including Maddie Hanson, Tara Pinhorn, Amy Kershaw and twins Charlotte and Maxine Arpino James, all 17.

Maddie said: "We were all inspired and it is not just that- it has really helped us learn things for the future and given us insight into what it is really like to run a business."

Hyundai Motor Company and Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise Europe created the programme to boost understanding and awareness among young people about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, entrepreneurship and their skills for future employability.

HGSS became involved in the initiative last year and pupils have since worked with teachers and a Hyundai financial director.

Starting the competition there were 125 teams from across Europe.

The Holmer Green group went to the Hyundai Training Academy in High Wycombe and spoke about their business idea in front of a panel of judges, which included Olympic boxer Nicola Adams.

Maddie said: "We had to talk about our business and what we planned and the skills we had learned for the future."

They were one of two UK teams, including Fun Learning 4 U from The Highcrest Academy, selected to go to Germany.

Once there, they were whittled down to the last five teams, and gave another presentation which secured their second place.

Maddie said: "We said we want to develop the mats to have logos on them and sell them to big businesses. The judges did say they hoped we are not going to stop now.

"It just shows, if you have just a little idea and work really hard for it, you can go far."

Head of business studies, John Kavanagh, said: "In terms of the business department, we are constantly trying to push them into competitions to get vocational experience.

"I am very proud of the team, especially for a small school, like ours, to go there and represent the UK."

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