On Friday, Year 7 and 8 pupils entered the 'Dragons' Den' to face three Dragons from Waitrose came to judge their BBC micro:bit product pitches.
The Dragons, all senior staff from Waitrose in Cirencester, gave up their time to give the children a grilling. Sam French (Department Manager), Margaret Hulbert (Partner Co-ordination Manager) and Angela Bayliss (Section Manager) all came with the right commercial acumen to strike a deal.
The teams of pupils had spent weeks researching suitable products for the games market which they could build using BBC micro:bits. Each pupil took on a role as project manager, designer or programmer within the team and together they were responsible for designing and building their computer games as well as the packaging, promotion and presentation. They had to calculate the manufacturing cost, wholesale prices and retail prices, to ensure both they and their retailer would make a profit margin. Using their creative flair, they had to develop, film and edit advertisements for their games. Their hard work came to a head on Friday when they had their chance to pitch their product to the Dragons.
Striking the deal was Team Micro-Man which included Ben, Charlie, Finn, Jensen and Ignasi. They launched their promotional video with the phrase, 'Are you ready to see the best British gaming advert?', which detailed their two-player 'Pac-Man' style game. The Dragons not only liked the game but found the financials very appealing at £5 profit per unit. It wasn't plain sailing for Team Micro-Man. They were tackled on what improvements they would make, further detail on price as well as the game's benefits.
We think it will be popular because everyone loves Pac-Man and BBC micro:bits.Team Pac-Man
It was a project that had a variety of learning benefits. The initiative gave the children a chance to learn coding and get creative with BBC micro:bits technology. It helped them develop their commercial awareness as the children had to think carefully about costings, prices and profit margins in order to generate income for both themselves and their retailers. Working in teams, the children discovered each others abilities and who was most effective in the various roles.
I enjoyed designing the cover and working with different people.Mackenzie
It will help us with our job interviews in the future.Ignasi
The Dragons too were impressed with the initiative and children's efforts:
You all did really well. We could not have done that at your age. You were really mature. Team Kufu's presentation was unique and enjoyable. We liked that Team Jumpman considered the commercial side with more profit and that Team Crossy Road undertook lots of customer research. Team Micro-Man - you researched well but also picked up on the popularity of Pac-Man.The Dragons
Well done everyone for all your efforts with this project. Thank you Sam, Margaret, Angela and Waitrose for your guidance and support.