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Collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving

Regulus // Issue 2 // August 2023

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Fergus Sidey (Year 13) has 	received seed funding for his innovative agricultural product.Business Studies and Economics students at St Andrew’s College have been enjoying success in recent competitions, which have given them the opportunity to showcase their skills and entrepreneurial spirit, says Teacher in Charge of Business Studies, Steve Aldhamland. “These opportunities all but dried up during COVID-19, so it is great to see them resurface. The students get to apply the skills they’ve learnt, mixed with their ability to problem-solve about things they are passionate about. Working collaboratively nurtures teamwork and encourages students to think innovatively, which are other big things to come out of the competitions.”

A group of three Year 13 students, Jedd Bright, Annika MacDonald and Lachlan Odlin, won fourth place at the Boost Economic Growth Challenge, a new national initiative introduced by the University of Canterbury. Students did a virtual presentation of their ideas aimed to stimulate economic growth under the theme, ‘Ka titiro whakamuri, ki te anga whakamua | Guided by the past, shaping the future’. The students’ innovative concept was a horizontal and hydroponic farm in the Red Zone, which utilised unused land and created employment opportunities for people in the east of Christchurch. “Their proposal for sustainable agriculture included some traditional Māori planting ideas and values such as kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga. It was an exciting concept,” says Steve.

Two other Year 13 students, Thomas MacLean and Finlay Fairweather-Logie, also entered the Boost competition, with their idea to create a privately run 24/7 enterprise centre for businesses which would cut fixed costs including rent, power, and heating. “Both teams of students had great support from their Economics teacher, Jo Bigford-Fleming, during this competition. Jo and I were highly impressed by their ideas and application.”

St Andrew’s has been an active participant in the Young Enterprise Scheme for several years, with seven teams taking part in 2023. Fergus Sidey, Alex Rippin, Craig Glass and Elijah Hyde (all Year 13) secured seed funding of $200 for their project, an innovative solution aimed to help farmers tackle the issue of waste plastic wrapping on baleage. The idea is based on an original design by Fergus Sidey. “The team plans to use the funds to apply for a provisional patent, demonstrating their commitment to turning the fantastic idea into a viable product,” says Steve.
Anthony Gower (Year 13), achieved success at the Enterprise in Action Weekend, a national competition, which is part of the Young Enterprise Scheme. “Anthony submitted a 90-second video about himself and was selected to participate as part of the Canterbury team, which collaborated with sponsor companies and worked towards solving large global business problems with the support of large corporates.”

Programming Māori and Pasifika Potential (PMP) is a business incubator established to encourage Māori and Pasifika rangatahi to take a plunge into the world of entrepreneurship and create a digital solution for a social problem. A team of nine ākonga ranging from Years 9–13, meet every Tuesday before school with their mentor, Chante Botica.

Steve says the various competitions and initiatives available to the students not only enhance their learning inside the classroom but also develop essential skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration that will help them beyond school. “Their ideas and solutions address significant challenges facing the world, which helps to instil hope for a brighter future.”

Our Business Studies students shine in competitions, showcasing entrepreneurial skills and innovative solutions for a brighter future.