Rubber bands concept helps to put Calderdale students among world’s best

Students with their design
Students with their design

A team of Art and Design students from Kirklees College reached the final of a global enterprise competition by creating an unusual product idea using rubber bands.

The team from Batley School of Art got down to the last four colleges and universities in the world in the DECA Idea Challenge 2017, alongside teams from the USA, Moldova and Saint Lucia.

Around 4,500 students at Kirklees College took part in the DECA Idea challenge as part of the college’s Enterprise Week in November for Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The challenge asked participants to come up with an idea for a new use for an every-day object and this time it was rubber bands.

George Dunn, from Lightcliffe, Halifax; Molly Cavell from Pudsey; Kirsty McEwen from Rastrick, Brighouse; and Kirsty Brien, from Wrenthorpe, Wakefield, wowed the judges with their product CHED – a camping chair and bed combo.

The students, who are all on Foundation Diploma or Access to HE Art and Design courses, managed to come up with the whole concept over just two days.

Mr Dunn said: “It took a while to come up with the design, but we wanted to find something really useful.”

The students said they had forgotten about the competition, but were shocked to find out they had got through to the final four last month.

In the end, a team from the USA triumphed as the winners.

Lydia Butterworth, commercial and enterprise manager at Kirklees College, said: “At Kirklees College we try and place enterprise at the heart of everything we do, from being employer responsive, supporting local skills gaps to running professional business networking events.

“We robustly embed enterprise in our curriculum, ensuring that every one of our learners is taught entrepreneurial skills.”

Ms Butterworth added: “We are absolutely delighted that one of our teams has had global success with their enterprising idea and reached the final four worldwide; it’s a fantastic achievement.”