A TEAM of adult returners from SERC’s Newcastle campus have scooped South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) annual Enterprise Showcase Winners title.
The showcase followed Enterprise Fortnight when 600 teams of students from across six SERC campuses took part in a project-based learning (PBL) competition.
Students were tasked to find solutions to real-world challenges related to their area of study and then had to present their innovations to judges who selected nine projects to pitch their business and social enterprise ideas in a Dragon’s Den style event which, to add to the pressure, was live streamed from the SERC Media Centre in Bangor.
Access Level 3 Diploma in Foundation Studies students Jamie Clarke (Castlewellan), Nicholas Ren-nie (Newcastle) and Brian O’Neill (Newcastle), from the college’s New-castle campus, presented The Red Wrigglers Wormery and scooped first place.
The team set out to promote recycling by building a wormery which comprised a compartmentalised box designed to recycle efficiently using worms to break down biodegradable refuse.
The first wormery has been built, installed and trialled in the Newcastle campus. The Access Diploma students hope to build more wormeries and deliver more educational workshops in the very near future.
Fellow Access Diploma Level 3 Diploma in Foundation Studies students Conor Melville (Drumaness), Helen McFarlane (Ballynahinch) and Gerard Campbell (Ballynahinch), from the Ballynahinch campus, took second place with their business concept Hallowed Grounds.
Their product was a coffee-based exfoliating soap which used recycled coffee grounds, natural essential oils and soap base. It is unique as reusing coffee grounds – that would otherwise be disposed of in landfill – gives them a secondary use, unlike other natural exfoliants.
Third place went to Level 3 Professional Cookery students Catrina Stanfield (Newtownards) and Maisa Muir (Bangor), from the Bangor camp-
us, who joined forces to present Buy it, Cook it, Eat it’. It challenged local businesses to sell their produce to support the local economy by enticing the public to try new dishes.
They collaborated with local butcher Corries for the Ards and North Down Council Tide and Turf Festival in Portavogie. They invited festival goers to buy meat from the butcher stall and bring to the duo who would cook it fresh to create one of the meals they had planned for the event, taking into consideration cost and speed to ensure they made a profit and that the customers had fast food.
Lizzie Buick, Deputy Head of Enterprise, said: “Huge congratulations to winners, The Red Wrigglers Wormery, and Hallowed Grounds and Buy it, Cook it, Eat it, who took second and third place respectively, and to all our finalist in the 2021 SERC Enterprise Showcase which I think was the best year ever.
“The projects presented were out-standing and of the highest quality and we look forward to hearing about future developments.”
Michael Holmes, Deputy Head of Enterprise, said: “We would like to thank the prestigious panel of judges who gave up their time to judge the students PBL enterprises.”