The entrepreneurs and problem solvers of the future took on the business dragons – and wowed them with their winning pitches.

CET’s inaugural Innovate contest brought together students in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 to create a ‘world changing idea’ to help the environment.

All 11 schools held their own in-school competitions and selected a winner who went on to the finals day at The Whitehaven Academy.

The aim was to unlock the innovative DNA that exists in every young person. The teams had to firstly generate and design their idea, produce a prototype product, advertise it and then pitch and present it to an audience and panel of judges.

Students wowed the audience with their innovative ideas, confident presentations and creative advertising slogans and jingles. All student finalists received goodie bags and there were medals and trophies for the winners.

The day was opened by CEO Lorrayne Hughes with a closing address from trust Chair George Beveridge.

In the primary schools’ competition, first place went to Longtown’s Year 4 Innovators. Their world changing idea was the Bee Happy Hive. The children designed a unique hive habitat with a range of additional features to support bees, so they can support us.

Second place went to The Job Experience Team from Yanwath Primary School and third was Yewdale Primary School’s Yewdale Uniques.

In the secondary school competition, William Howard’s Algae Army came out on top. Their design was an algae aligned filter that attaches to a gas boiler outlet to filtrate the carbon.

Nic Tweddle, CET Assistant Headteacher and Student Events Lead, said: “It was a brilliant event and the students from each school were amazing – their ideas, pitches and presentations were so creative and innovative.

“The external judges were all very impressed by our children and their ideas. They have asked to work with CET and some of the student teams and their ideas and products in different ways.”

Longtown Headteacher Jemma Nicholson said: “The children loved taking part in this wonderful project, from designing their ‘world changing ideas’ to presenting their business plans and designs to the judges. Winning was a fabulous achievement.”

Thanks to the panel of business judges who gave freely of their time and expertise: John Wilson, Cumbria Community Foundation Trustee; Jodie Mills, Director of West Cumbria Rivers Trust; Toby McCartney, CEO at MacRebur Ltd; Daley Rogers, Sales Director, CFM Radio and Laura Grearson, Sales Manager, CFM Radio.