What is it?
“Toolbox – Smart Meter Tools”
A handy measuring Toolbox for the iPad
A multifunctional measuring device with: metronome, stopwatch, timer, seismometer, ruler, surface level and many more, developed by SkyPaw.
This is a free app for iPads and iPhones.
Toolbox is a great way to introduce lots of measuring devices into a wide range of lessons from science to PE, geography to maths.
It contains a seismometer which will give children a real understanding of how earthquakes are measured in waves across 3 dimensions. Decibel 10 allow data logging of volume and can be easily utilised in a range of different science experiments. The Teslameter measures magnetic fields and is great for locating where these might be located within a classroom. There is a compass which also records latitude and longitude, and also an altimeter. For maths the ruler and protractor are an effective way to demonstrate how these tools work, and the stopwatch and timer are useful for a whole range of activities.
In one app, there is a whole range of digital, accurate and engaging tools to enhance many areas of the curriculum.
Time needed to learn how to use it and get going:
What the SkyPaw says about Toolbox:
“Toolbox” is a set of 14 handy and elegant measuring tools. It turns your smart device into a swiss-army-knife that measures everything you will ever need.
An adventure into space for hundreds of young people has been hailed by a leading astrophysicist as a vital launch pad for careers in science and technology.
Hi-impact Consultancy has been showing that the sky’s the limit when it comes to scientific discovery, opening up a whole new world to pupils from schools in Southport.
As part of the STEM agenda at Greenbank High, hi-impact has been working in partnership with the school to inspire students to learn more about the opportunities and challenges of science, technology, engineering and maths.
The launch of a helium balloon fitted with cameras and scientific equipment brought the excitement of discovering what near space looks like while, back at school, staff and children at Mission Control watched via a live video link and followed the path of the balloon with live trackers.
In the classroom, pupils also learned about flight prediction, the physics of the balloon launch and the creation of a temperature sensor with Raspberry Pi computers.
The two-day project also included a live webinar with Dr Steve Croft, astrophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley. Joining the Greenbank students were pupils from neighbouring secondary and primary schools.
After his internet talk from the USA, Dr Croft said: “It’s always a pleasure to collaborate with the team at hi-impact as they provide amazing opportunities for students to get hands-on with memorable science and technology experiments.
“Designing and launching a craft to the edge of space will be a formative experience for many of these young people, enabling them to experience the excitement of scientific discovery and hopefully influencing some of them to choose STEM careers.”
Alan Thompson, managing director at hi-impact, explained: “Our balloon launch into near space is among our creative learning methods and pioneering projects which bring technology to life for young people.
“Even at primary school age, children can take part in exciting and engaging experiences in the world of science, computing, engineering and creative media. Sending 360 degree cameras into space to gain footage and data of the Earth’s atmosphere is a unique way to get involved in space exploration and open the door to a whole world of discovery and brings to life all aspects of the STEM curriculum.”
Ashley Sinclair, Greenbank High’s head of Year 10, science tutor and STEM co-ordinator, said the partnership with hi-impact formed a vital part of the school’s agenda to show the importance of delivering STEM subjects in an exciting and engaging way.
He said: “There needs to be an appetite for these subjects, particularly among young people. Science is everywhere in our everyday lives and these experiences with hi-impact show how they can relate and apply to real life.
“Once that passion is there, hopefully it can lead to the many and varied career opportunities available in STEM-related fields which are necessary to meet our global challenges.”
Lynn Willacy, community and STEM ambassador for Air Products Ltd, which sponsored the balloon launch with its provision of the helium, added: “This was a really exciting initiative that we were extremely proud to sponsor.
“Seeing the excitement of the students as the balloon set off on its journey and the great photos from space was amazing. It was a wonderful way of bringing a science project to life, showing young people how exciting science can be and helping to inspire future engineers and scientists.”
Since 2012 hi-impact has been the home of “Space Balloon” – a high-end, ambitious Science project carried out with primary and secondary schools. Only a few of our staff members have taken part in this exciting event, so last weekend we gave all our colleagues and their families the opportunity to experience the thrill of sending something to “Near Space” themselves.
Having obtained our Civil Aviation Authority permission to fly, we headed down to our preferred launch site in Welshpool, mid-Wales, on a beautiful sunny morning, hoping the clear skies would last. Usually, when we run Space Balloon with schools, we engage the children in the days leading up to the flight with a series of workshops involving weather predictions, pressure experiments, payload build, mission patch design and more. For our family fun day we employed a cut-down version of this, and one of our consultants, Bob, entertained the hi-impact children with Bottle Rocket launches.
Next, we began inflation of our giant weather balloon, slowly filling it with helium from a 6ft high cylinder – we know how much helium is required to achieve our desired flight altitude and duration, one of the benefits of having scientists on the team!
As the balloon gradually increased in size, the payload craft was assembled. Sensors were connected up to a Raspberry Pi computer and trackers were tested (we use multiple tracking devices to reduce the risk of losing everything!) Everything was confirmed as working before our MD, Alan – having a long term involvement in our Space Balloon missions – explained to the group what each device’s purpose was. Everyone had a turn holding the balloon, to feel the mighty pull of the helium whilst posing for photographs. Aside from the useful technology on board, we also had a replica of Jake, the hi-impact office dog, which we had 3D printed ourselves. He sat on a ruler on the outside of the craft, in full view of our video camera!
The excitement was now building, and with ropes connected between the payload, a parachute and the now 2.5m diameter balloon, we could begin our final checks. Cameras were switched on (we had 2 – a GoPro for video, and a small stills camera attached to the Raspberry Pi), tracking signals re-confirmed, and the nearby airfield contacted by one of the children to request permission to launch. We were ready for the countdown.
On the cry of “LIFT OFF!” the craft was released, and the massive balloon began pulling it upwards at around 5 metres per second – racing into the clear blue sky and remaining in eyesight for a good 15 minutes. The chase team now assembled, armed with early predictions of the flight path – we set off for Hereford, receiving frequent updates from the tracking team to confirm that the craft was following the expected line.
Back at the launch site, those not on the chase enjoyed barbeques and games whilst waiting for news. It became tense when the GPS signal was lost – something that happens above 18km altitude by design – and a nervous wait ensued. Sometime later, a collective relief was felt as a new tracking signal was received – our balloon had expanded in the low-pressure air of the stratosphere and burst. Now, sailing back to Earth with nothing but a parachute and few fragments of latex in tow, came our craft, and the chase team headed to the expected landing zone. Some 2 hours after the launch, when the signals began to show at the same location, we knew our payload had landed. The tracking team sent through exact details and we located the box, highlighted by the bright orange parachute, in a field not far from Hereford.
Upon initial inspection, Jake the dog was in fine condition although the video camera mounting was bent over, suggesting it had taken the brunt of the impact upon landing. the rest of the craft looked perfect and we were hoping for some good images and data. At a nearby pub, we opened up the box and checked over the images on the SD cards. Our GoPro had some fabulous footage of Jake high above the Earth – fantastic and unique marketing material for our media team! Our stills camera gave us unbelievable images including identifiable land and sea features such as the Bristol Channel area with the English Channel further afield, and then to the north the North West AND North East coastlines of England, right up to the Scottish border! Our little craft and its cameras had been privy to stunning vistas on a huge scale.
Later, back at the office, our Science team examined the data. We saw a maximum altitude reached of a whisker under 35km above Earth’s surface, and temperatures drop to as low as minus 41 degrees centigrade. Ascent rate was an average of over 5 metres per second, and the flight time was around 2 hours total, with a 50 mile journey as the crow flies.
As a family fun day, the event brought children of different ages together. Fun games sneakily taught them about the science of pressure and propulsion, and in sending something out of Earth’s Troposphere, it gave them a chance to experience something special that very few of their friends – if any – will ever do. As a team bonding exercise, the staff and their families enjoyed time away from work, meeting new people, taking part in fun and scientific activities and working together to do something none of them will ever have imagined was possible. We can offer the Space Balloon project to schools, but now it has shown itself to be a spectacular and truly unique corporate event as well, one with marketing potential in the form of images from the edge of space featuring a logo or mascot, and one that also gives staff and even their families a very special and never to be forgotten experience.
For more information on Space Balloon and what it could do for your school or business, please just get in touch.
Can you give us an update since your last blog?
Quick update. Over the last two months the coaches have worked together to input a summer camp scheme; three camps ran for seven days and a ten day camp also ran toward the latter end of last month! We had a wide variety of children from ages four to fourteen. A lot of the children had never played football before so it was vitally important for us to make camp inclusive for all children and enjoyable for their first experience of the sport! In this part of China it has became very clear that sport isn’t the first option for children, so it was a hurdle for the coaches to overcome this. We wanted the children to enjoy and remember their experiences at summer camp and hopefully in the future, developed from the experience had at camp, they may want to return or get more involved regularly in football!
Many of the children we work with don’t speak much English, therefore, incorporated in our summer camps were English breaks where children had a break in the shade but also had the opportunity to learn English words!
We were also joined by Matt Hunter and Shaun Garnett who oversaw all of the coaches work and gave guidance to help improve ourselves as coaches, which was great!
Tell us how you got into this career.
My coaching career started when I got injured one week in a match. I went to technical goalkeeper sessions trained by a man named Neil Ebbrell. Being injured, he offered to help assist me in coaching. I found I gained a lot of enjoyment out of coaching football and wanted to pursue this even further! I began taking coaching courses starting with my Level 1 and then my FA Goalkeeper Award. I assisted Neil throughout his sessions gaining lots of knowledge and experience, I was very fortunate to know Neil, as a further opportunity arose at Connah’s Quay Nomads as an Assistant Academy Goalkeeper Coach. I worked with the club for two years as well as going to America for a summer in 2015! Becoming a Coach as a female at sixteen was fairly daunting due to being surrounded by people with a lot more knowledge and confidence, but I found this made me want to grow further as a Coach and show that age didn’t really matter!
I now look back and find myself reflecting on my experience in China. It’s daunting sometimes thinking of moving to the other side of the world, however, as a Coach it’s tested my ability to be flexible as well as to be understanding and change coaching methods depending on age groups and abilities. A lot of abilities we work with are grass roots level however with a language barrier you have to adapt your coaching style nearly every day to suit the needs of the children, teachers or translators you are working with!
After experts had demonstrated how to construct and deconstruct a specially-built go-kart, “pit crew” students then had to race against the clock to dismantle and rebuild it while, at the same time, develop their own strategy to be the winning team.
Winners of the morning session were Canon Slade School in Bolton while afternoon session winners were pupils from Carmel College, St Helens.
Alan Thompson, managing director at hi-impact, said: “After attending last year’s Big Bang North West when hundreds of students clamoured to get hands-on with our humanoid robot, VR space exploration and infra-red photography, we decided to come back bigger and better this year with some really innovative and exciting learning experiences for young visitors.
“We had four times the floor space so we could let our imagination run riot – and came up with the idea of Team Engineering Challenge, a real task to work out how to put our go-kart back together again in less than 10 minutes.
“This was a true engineering task calling for skills in problem-solving, teamwork and organisational abilities.”
The sessions also allowed teachers and pupils to see how hi-impact consultants work in schools to introduce and develop manufacturing processing skills through engaging and hands-on experiences.
Big Bang North West, held at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool, is an annual event to inspire the next generation of STEAM experts. It is an opportunity for schools to come face-to-face with professionals from all walks of industry and academia to discover information about careers and further study in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
A PASSION for music and photography by hi-impact media consultant Georgia Flynn is bringing to Liverpool a unique new festival this summer.
Shout About It Live will be the place where some of the best known names on the photographic scene, bands and artists – plus fans who are simply interested in the music – can celebrate the work of gig photographers.
Such has been the impact of Georgia’s event that two big names are making long-haul flights specially to be there – renowned gig photographer Deb Kloeden, who is flying in from Australia, and singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Amanda Lowe who’s coming over from Canada to perform.
The event, being held over the weekend of Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20 at District in the city’s Baltic Triangle, is all thanks to 24-year-old Georgia, a digital media and communications consultant based at hi-impact’s headquarters in Bromborough, who has created a two-day hub of activity for photographers who love to shoot images of musicians on a live stage.
Georgia, herself a gig photographer in her spare time with a growing reputation in and around Liverpool, hit on the idea of putting the two forms of art in place following her own experiences in various venues’ photographic pits.
She said: “Rules are strict in the photo pits where there’s usually hardly any room to move. You’re only allowed about 10 minutes while the artist performs and you can’t use flash. It’s all obvious stuff as people are there to see the musicians, not the photographers.
“But gig photography is something the artists and bands want too; there’s no better way of getting their profile up there than from a live shoot. So that’s what Shout About It Live is all about – it’s bringing together both sides so the photographers can get their shots and the bands can get their pictures.
“Hopefully, this will be the first step towards building a community of gig photographers who come together to showcase their work.”
Throughout the weekend, photographers will also have the opportunity to showcase their work in District.
Georgia, who loves to photograph new music and street art around Liverpool, has lined up an impressive array of photographers and bands for Shout About It Live.
Photographer Deb Kloeden said: “I am so excited about the festival because it will be a unique way to bring concert photography and live music together. It is an ambitious event with lots of co-ordination and planning involved.
“When Georgia approached me and invited me to come to Liverpool, I didn’t hesitate to agree and so I am travelling from Australia to take part. It will be a wonderful experience to meet the other photographers and bands involved.”
Among the other photographers joining her is the much admired international rock star photographer Matthias Hombauer who said: “This festival is like no other. Bringing together the work of gig photographers with live music is sure to be a success and showcase some great talent.”
Alan Thompson, managing director at hi-impact, added: “Photography and film are both parts of our media offering at hi-impact and Georgia is a key member of our team.
“Sadly, we don’t get many opportunities to travel the country working at such exciting gigs so it is great that Georgia has managed to find a way to make this happen.
“When Georgia puts her mind to something, it is always a massive success so I know that Shout About It will be incredible. I’ve got my T-shirt!”
The huge line-up of artists and bands performing at the festival covers a range of music styles and has big names playing alongside local talent. On stage with Amanda Lowe will be Eleanor Nelly, who has just signed to Decca, as well as The Cheap Thrills, Astles, Silent Cities, Luca, Brothers of Mine, Cal Ruddy, Wildfires, Black Mountain Lights, Sly Antics, The Buffalo Riot, Riviera and Diamonds in the Dark.
Shout About It Live on Saturday, August 19 and on Saturday, August 20 runs from 12 noon to 11pm on both days. Tickets for the Saturday are £12 and are £10 for the Sunday, all available from www.skiddle.com
If you mention ‘Work Experience’ to any other fifteen year old, you can’t expect much other than a groan in response; yet this isn’t the case when I’m asked about my own time over the past week and a half. The team at hi-impact Consultancy has offered me so many opportunities, from helping the tech support team in primary schools to delivering workshops to children to filming with the media team – to say that I did the same task twice would be a complete lie.
I found that while with hi-impact, I wasn’t given useless jobs or the jobs the employees didn’t want to do, I was given jobs with purpose – and that is all someone can ask for on their work experience week, this gave me a feel of what a job is actually like. I have been involved in everything from assisting in workshops and filming promotion films to supporting technicians, building websites and creating 3D Virtual Tours for a local football club.
The team included me in tasks that enhanced my view on the working world, I’ve been shown that wanting a career is to have initiative, to rely on yourself and use the people around you as a guide to help you complete your next task to your fullest potential. I was shown the ins and outs of workplaces, how businesses work – and the true meaning behind a nine till five job in a healthy, innovative company.
hi-impact has shown me the meaning of a happy working life and has inspired me to strive for the motivation and opportunities I’ve seen within this company, the employees enjoy their jobs, and are all given equal opportunities to enhance their own career – this has given me a view for my future I wouldn’t otherwise have.
Spending a week with the hi-impact has helped me have a clearer view of my future, as I was often confused at what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, yet now, I feel collected and motivated about wanting a career I can wake up and feel happy about going to. Work experience is an important part of a teenagers education because it gives them a new perspective that a classroom would never even be able to offer, and hi-impact have given me an experience that has prepared me to go at the rest of my life and education in mind with passion. This company is a family, and has given me knowledge and motivation I’ve never had before; and for that, a thank you is an understatement.
Another major business award is within the grasp of hi-impact consultancy.
The Company has been named as a finalist in the category of ‘Business of the Year with 11 to 49 Employees’ in the prestigious Wirral Business Awards 2017 which celebrates the enterprise, excellence and innovation of the business community.
Earlier this year hi-impact won the ‘Liverpool John Moores Innovation and Technology Award’ at the renowned Echo Environmental Awards, which recognises the best of the region’s environmental projects and the people who are striving to make Merseyside a greener place.
Managing Director Alan Thompson said “Our mission as a company has always been to introduce the world of Science, Computing, Engineering and Creative Media to young people in a way that inspires and stimulates and this is recognised by schools throughout Wirral, the rest of the UK and abroad. However, to be named as a finalist in the Wirral Business Awards is a great achievement for us, as contributing to the economic success of the region and being part of a vibrant, forward-thinking local community is integral to our business”
Paula Basnett, Chief Executive of Wirral Chamber of Commerce, which organises the annual event, added “These awards celebrate the fantastic work our businesses undertake in supporting Wirral’s economic prosperity. Wirral Business Awards ensure that the talent and success of our nominees’ achievements is recognised and, quite rightly, rewarded and each year I am amazed at the creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship demonstrated in the award applications we receive.”
Winners will be announced at a dinner and awards ceremony at Wirral’s Thornton Manor on Friday, September 22.
t has now been nearly a year that I have been at hi-impact and in that time I have made a considerable amount of professional progress. I have also met so many like-minded people who all share the same drive to help our schools in any way we can.
I was able to complete all the work for my apprenticeship 4 months ahead of schedule due to the help and support I have received from everyone inside the business. The whole company has taught me more than I ever thought possible in the short space of time I have had here. It is only due to the overwhelming sense of family that I have been able to grow and develop my skills in order to complete my course and gain extra knowledge that has allowed me to adapt to my unique role here.
While being at hi-impact I have been able to do things that I would be unable to do anywhere else. For example, I have become a certified Test Administrator for Pearson VUE. This allows me to work in our in-house test centre to administer exams to candidates for certifications like Microsoft and Cisco. I have also been able to learn more about how iPads are used in great numbers and I am now able to provide advice to other technicians on the best practices of using them.
Working for hi-impact has also brought me many opportunities to do stuff outside of work. One example is that last week we competed as a team in the Dragon Boat Race 2017 in Liverpool. We managed to come 4th out of 14 against many other more experienced teams. We were able to pull this off because of how good we work together as a team.
Deciding to pursue an apprenticeship was the best career step I could have made and I would recommend it to anyone. In my view, I have got a lot more out of it than I could have got out of completing my A-levels. I can’t think of a business I would rather work for than hi-impact. The sense of family and team is incomparable to anywhere else.
THE vast opportunities dreamed of by hi-impact consultancy as it set out to create new ways to introduce school children to the exciting world of science and technology has led to the company being shortlisted for a major business award.
Winning the Creative Impact Award at the Liverpool Echo Business Awards is now within reach of hi-impact for its groundbreaking delivery of knowledge to scores of schools locally, nationally and internationally.
The shortlist announcement follows hot on the heels of the company’s achievement in winning the Liverpool John Moores Innovation and Technology Award at the Echo Environmental Awards which recognised the best of the region’s environmental projects and the people who are striving to make Merseyside a greener place.
Seeking successful finalists for the Creative Impact category in the Liverpool Echo Business Awards – the biggest in the Merseyside region – judges were looking for evidence that creative work had led directly to improved business performance.
Set up 10 years ago with just one school client on its books, hi-impact is now embedding technology into the curriculum of education providers with its engaging experiences in the world of science, computing, engineering, electronics and telecommunications.
Whether sending 360 degree cameras into space to gain footage and data of the Earth’s atmosphere or using a humanoid robot which introduces and develops skills in programming, the hi-impact team gives opportunities to schools and its pupils – many in areas of social deprivation – that budget constraint does not allow.
From that original contract, hi-impact has experienced rapid growth, 40 per cent of Wirral’s primary schools now using its services. Pupils from more than 150 schools throughout the UK and abroad – primary, secondary and in the independent sector – are today being introduced to its groundbreaking delivery of technology and models of the hi-impact operation and consultancy services being exported outside the UK.
Staff numbers have increased to 30 and turnover has reached more than £1m. This expansion has seen the business move from its original small premises in Wirral to larger offices in Birkenhead then, last year, to an even bigger site on Wirral International Business Park in Bromborough.
Alan Thompson, managing director at hi-impact, said: “Ten years ago, we had no idea where the business would go – but schools are such superb places of creativity and we could envisage the opportunities those early technologies offered to enrich the curriculum.
“I am incredibly proud of what we, as a team, have achieved since then and how much fun it has been getting to where we are today. Being on the shortlist for recognition of these achievements at a major event like the Echo Business Awards is wonderful news. Winning the trophy after our other recent awards success would be truly amazing.”
Winners of the Echo Business Awards will be announced at a ceremony at St George’s Hall, Liverpool, on Thursday, June 22.