19.12.18 Hon Asst John Blauth

Keeping cool in White City

Pictured above: The winners! Zebedee Nash won, with Florrie Mantio (r) and Abigail Aladesuru (l) coming joint second, and Zainab Alshaber came third

Imperial College Outreach, an incredible programme for young people in White City (in the shadow of the sad hulk that was Grenfell Tower), held its Community Showcase Event in December, writes Hon Assistant John Blauth.

The event marked the completion of the most recent Maker Challenge Programme and was an opportunity for the cohorts to celebrate their achievements during the course of the 12-week programme.

Enjoying the artefacts and snacks at the Showcase

Careful and comprehensive judging in action

Careful and comprehensive judging in action

The work they created was on display to friends and proud families as well as other local community members. A panel of judges assessed the students’ efforts and awards were given for the best projects.

The winner was Zebedee Nash who had made a very small ducted fan that can be worn under a T-shirt to keep the person cool. It would work just as well under a hat worn by a fully evolved male (recognisable because he has shed his hair). Florrie Mantio and Abigail Aladesuru came joint second and Zainab Alshaber came third.

Though this was an informal and fun event designed to highlight the hard work, determination and accomplishments of young people and provide them with a supportive environment to showcase their work, it emphasised just how important our support is.

Some of the parents at the event explained just how their children could have so easily taken other, less positive paths, as they traversed the jungle of deprivation that is this part of London. Imperial’s programme, with the support of some far-sighted organisations including the Coachmakers, is to be applauded and we, for our part, should consider ourselves fortunate to be able to participate in something so positive.

Recruitment to the programme, and ensuring that it is a resource for the local community in White City is something to which Imperial and its supporters are deeply committed. To bolster recruitment Imperial has engaged a new member of the team. Part of their role will be to have more face-to-face interaction with local schools and teachers to build trust and further develop these relationships. Potential participants who wouldn’t usually put themselves forwards for initiatives like the Maker Challenge Programme, and young people with different aspirations than attending university, need to be encouraged and helped. The team has compiled a target list of 10 new schools with high percentages of pupils receiving free school meals, and which are recognised as underachieving, in order to reach the young people who would benefit most from this opportunity.