Oathall Community College's 'Cycling Five' emerge triumphant from the Dragons' Den

PR2157/MJ/JAE - 28/03/2018

On Friday 23 March six teams from Oathall Community College (Haywards Heath), Warden Park Academy (Cuckfield) and St Paul’s Catholic College (Burgess Hill) went head to head in front of a panel of expert judges in 2018’s Mid Sussex STEM challenge final.

Jonathan Ash Edwards, Deputy Leader of Mid Sussex District Council, which has supported the scheme throughout, commented, “The level of dedication and hard work shown by all the students taking part in this Mid Sussex STEM challenge has been nothing short of phenomenal.”

The six teams were tasked with showing off their project management, marketing and engineering skills to create and then market an electric bike from a component kit and a mountain bike.

“From the very first moment the schools saw the brief back in October we have seen these future business leaders working tirelessly and with great ability to bring their prototype to this stage” explained Jonathan.

The teams were assessed by a panel of judges including engineering and medical employers before two were shortlisted to go before the Dragons.

Garry Wall, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council added. “Everyone who took part in the event demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the technology and business skills required in a competitive economy. The students are a credit to their individual schools and the young people of Mid Sussex.”

The final judging panel of Deputy Lieutant Carole Hayward, Rhiannon Scott of Women in Engineering and Cllr Garry Wall, Leader of MSDC were joined by the Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames MP to sit as Dragons as the two shortlisted finalists, both from Oathall Community College, pitched their ideas and answered questions during their Dragons’ Den style presentation.

Finally, in a very close run race, the Cycling 5 team were announced winners collecting the challenge trophy and an additional prize of a visit to the world famous electric bike company Bromptons.

The final word was left to Nick Green, Director of Flowserve one of the Awards originating companies, “I’m very much hoping this pilot scheme will grow to incorporate many more schools in the years ahead as we prove the diversity and rewards to be had in such careers.”