On 15th January students from Thames View Primary School embarked on their World of Work day to Yes Futures partners Hewlett Packard. The start of the New Year saw new experiences for the students on the Finding Futures Programme, meeting new people from nearby school Miers Court Primary, and taking new journeys into the World of Work.
That journey began with a high-speed train zooming us into London: a great start to a day spent interacting with and thinking about exciting new technology! The ten pupils from Thames View Primary School and their colleagues from nearby Miers Court Primary School taking part in the Finding Futures programme were all on time at Rainham station. On the tube, one of them admitted to a fear of the underground, but bravely got through the whole journey, while another conquered their fear of heights on the glass elevator, once we had reached the HP offices.
Our World of Work day with HP started with a presentation by Ben Wharton, our host for the day. He emphasised the importance which perseverance has had in his own career, going from packing market stalls as a young person to working in the Sales department at HP. We also heard from two Sustainability Interns, who explained the importance of managing our resources and environment sustainably: for example, they told us about the use of recycled materials from plastic bottles in HP products. They also answered questions about their position, explaining what an internship is, how it fits in with their studies at university, and how it allows them to get involved in lots of fun activities, such as fundraising through baking. Baking was also mentioned by the next speaker, who had won the Great HP Bake Off, in addition to managing relations between HP and a major sales partner. Clearly some skills in the kitchen can also come in handy in the world of work!
The tour of the premises which followed allowed the children to handle a range of HP products, from laptops to conventional and 3D printers, to 3D scanners and virtual reality headsets. The children were particularly mesmerised by a dinosaur skull which had been 3D printed, and by a small, portable device to print photos directly from smartphones. Throughout the morning, they were able to practise their communication skills in particular, by asking and answering questions. The enthusiasm of one Thames View pupil, who had clearly done some research on HP at home, was so great that it impressed the HP staff, who gifted her a goody bag full of accessories.
Lunch won high praise from the children, who described it as ‘even better than school dinners’. After a break, the pupils were split into groups, which mixed pupils from both schools, and set the challenge of designing the next HP product. It could be anything, but it had to be innovative, and to be sold. Each group took a different approach, practising their four talents while collaborating with adult support: some thought of everyday items that we use in schools, and how to make them better; others imagined devices based on tablets and computers.
Each device was designed collaboratively, and it was presented to the other groups through a PowerPoint. In turn, each group bravely stood at the front of the room and delivered their pitch in front of the other pupils, the coaches, and HP staff. Ben gave them all encouraging feedback, then he and the other HP employees designated a winning pitch. Everyone cheered as they received a little certificate and prize for their achievement.
After thanking the staff at HP for the great day and unforgettable memories, we made our way back home. Despite some difficulties along the train line, we made it safely back to Rainham, each child buzzing to tell everyone at home about their World of Work day.
HP have been a fantastic partner to Yes Futures for many World of Work days, and each one always has an enormous impact on the students. Thank's to HP for all their support!
To find out more about how your students could get involved with the Yes Futures Programmes, please contact Sophie, Impact Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org, 07908 687779 or visit our website.
If you're interested in becoming a World of Work partner, please contact Helena, Head of Programmes: email@example.com.