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Pupils from local school take over Crawley College kitchens



Year Seven pupils from Oakwood School were welcomed into the college kitchens to take part in a special hospitality taster session.

The ten enthusiastic pupils prepared a three course meal and served them to their parents and carers in 58 Restaurant who arrived in the evening.

With the support of members of staff – Jill Harding, Julian Sims, Catherine Rushton and the leadership of Crawley College hospitality lecturer, Samantha Carey – the students were able to successfully cook, prepare and serve the three course meal.

Samantha Carey, hospitality lecturer at Crawley College said:

“The Students were fantastic and demonstrated enthusiasm and passion for the industry. They showed a professional attitude and behaviour and were a credit to the school. The food also tasted and looked fabulous.”

Oakwood Head Teacher Mr Potten and Deputy Head Joff Easlick also stopped by to see how the students were getting on and to chat to the parents and carers.

The students made a beautiful butternut squash and sweet chilli puree soup with homemade cheese twists for starters, a mushroom, bacon and tarragon creamy pasta with garlic bread for mains and a delicious chocolate brownie with cream for dessert.

After ensuring their parents/carers had their meals, the students had the opportunity to sit down with them to enjoy the food they had made themselves.

Jill Harding, member of staff at Oakwood School, said:

“I can’t thank Crawley College enough for organising this Taster Day. The students learnt so much and it was great to see them using equipment they had not come across before so confidently.

“It really was a team effort and we at Oakwood would love students to take part in this again in the future.”

After successfully completing their hospitality taster session, each student was rewarded with a certificate, a photo of themselves preparing the meals and a Crawley College keyring to take home.


Crawley student crowned winner of national STEM competition



A student from St Wilfrid’s Catholic Comprehensive School has been named winner in the Senior category of the Youth Industrial Strategy Competition, a national science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) initiative, supported by UK Research and Innovation, aimed at finding solutions to the greatest challenges facing modern society.

Claiming first prize, year 13 student, Rushil Patel, presented a project that uses offline artificial intelligence to accurately process a specific object or event in the world around the user, conveying limitless information in the most discrete way possible. Addressing the Grand Challenge of Artificial Intelligence and Data, the young inventor hopes it can help people with Autism not only identify, but also respond to perceived emotions.

Judged remotely by a panel of STEM experts, including representatives from Network Rail; AI architects, Arm; and Manchester Metropolitan University, Rushil was awarded first place thanks to his creativity and innovative way of addressing the Industrial Strategy’s Grand Challenge of Artificial Intelligence and Data.

Rushil, student at St Wilfrid’s Catholic Comprehensive School said:

“I am thrilled to have won the Senior category at the Youth Industrial Strategy competition. I really enjoyed working on our project and it was great to have the judges recognise the hard work and creativity that went into it.

“This competition has provided me with a great opportunity to get creative with my learning and it was incredibly rewarding to work on a project that could help solve one of the most pressing social issues today.”

With the live finals event cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the competition organisers, the British Science Association and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) asked schools to create videos of students presenting their finished projects and the information they’d been planning to share with judges.

Rushil and his teachers have worked incredibly hard to help enable the remote judging, especially at such a challenging time for schools and families across the UK and deserve special credit for their efforts.

Tom Saunders, Head of Public Engagement at UKRI, said:

“As this AI communications device shows, today’s students have an important part to play in addressing society’s biggest challenges. I would like to congratulate Rushil on his fantastic winning project and wish all the finalists every continued success in the future.”

Caitlin Brown, Project Manager for the Youth Industrial Strategy Competition, said:

“The judges commended Rushil for his hard work, dedication and commitment to STEM. He thoroughly deserves to be crowned our Youth Industrial Strategy Competition Senior winner.

“We are thrilled with the level of engagement and interest we have received around the Youth Industrial Strategy Competition, and are excited to see all these students, and more, continue to develop their love of STEM.”

The winners and runners up were selected from thousands of students, aged between 11-19 years, from across the UK, who designed projects responding to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s four Grand Challenges: the Future of Mobility, Ageing Society, Clean Growth and Artificial Intelligence and Data.

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