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hi-impact puts wheels in motion for students’ unique engineering challenge

The hi-impact team put wheels in motion to produce one of their most unique and unusual competitive experiences for young people at this year’s Big Bang North West event.

Problem-solving, efficient teamwork and organisation were the skills needed to win the Team Engineering Challenge, devised by hi-impact to introduce school-age students to the practical world of technology and engineering.

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.

 

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Bands and photographers get exposure they need at Georgia’s unique music festival

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

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Work Experience at hi-impact - Lauren's Story

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.

- Lauren

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hi-impact in line for another major business award

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.

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Staff Story: Almost 12 months at hi-impact

It 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.

- Created By Jamie Gray, Tech Apprentice 

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Innovation and creativity put hi-impact in line for another major award

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.

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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.

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hi-impact catch up with young female football coach Emma Gould

Emma Gould is one of Tranmere Football Clubs talented young football coaches currently out in China as part of our initiative with the Little London School. Emma is based in Inner Mongolia, China, in the capital city Hohhot and her job consists of teaching Chinese juniors football and developing the coaching structure in the country. Emma has worked as a coach for Connah's Quay academy back in the UK and has also played for Tranmere Rovers Ladies as Goalkeeper. 

Emma's First Blog:

"We moved to the City of Ordos on Sunday last week and started our work straight away by scouting elite players from the Mayor's Cup, looking to take them to the Little London Football School academy. Great facilities were in use, with 4g pitches and stadia in the high schools! A good standard of players was seen throughout Saturday and Sunday and we scouted just over 30 players.

"Over the course of the week we introduced development sessions for coaches, in which the coaches from the town would come each morning throughout to have lectures and practical sessions to widen their knowledge of coaching young players and to share ideas.

"Additionally, we travelled to various schools to work with children of different age groups from kindergarten right through to high school, providing football sessions for the children. The level of enthusiasm and time these schools put into their football is fantastic, and over the course of four days we visited five different schools showcasing our football sessions!

"At the end of the week the coaches we had been mentoring gave their own coaching sessions in front of the education bureau to promote the work we had been doing. We then joined the education bureau and took a tour around the city schools in which they showcased their facilities and sports to the governing body.

"We have had a great experience in this city so far not only on the coaching side, but also the welcoming we have had from the people of Ordos has been incredible! We look forward to providing more sessions within the schools as well as to the teams that will look for development sessions through the club. You can see from everyone's enthusiasm and positivity, that this is going to be something big, a massive opportunity for football in China, but also for us football coaches!

"Thanks to Tranmere Rovers FC and the Little London Football School for giving us this amazing opportunity!"

Tranmere are currently recruiting more coaches of FA Level 1, FA Level 2 and UEFA B standard, both male and female, to coach out in China and will be sending coaches out throughout this year. Read more at http://www.tranmererovers.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/china-update-3671806.aspx#265XWbKy4zP36VyZ.99

 

"Thanks to Tranmere and little London football school for working so well, we get this amazing opportunity" - Emma and jack

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hi-impact's young sports reporters get ready for media careers

BUDDING sports reporters in Wirral are becoming pitch perfect and ready to take on the challenges of careers in the media.

A unique partnership with Tranmere Rovers FC and IT innovators hi-impact consultancy is training youngsters to become the TV sports presenters and media specialists of the future.

Workshops at Prenton Park before Saturday home games have been equipping young fans on the Tranmere Junior Media Team with skills in writing match reports, sports photography, interviewing techniques, green screen reporting, and editing their own Tranmere video blogs.

Professional technical and photographic kit is all available to the youngsters, aged between nine and 13, to report on the Tranmere games. Then after the practical sessions comes the excitement of writing and broadcasting match reports from the press box and taking pictures from the pitch side with the club's official photographer.

hi-impact, whose headquarters are in Bromborough, uses innovative creative learning methods involving computing and IT to bring technology to life for schoolchildren across Merseyside as well as throughout the rest of the UK and abroad.

However, its partnership with Tranmere Rovers is the first link-up with a major football club to bring media skills and sport together as an open door to media-related careers.

Simon Sloan, operations manager at hi-impact, said: “Working voluntarily with Tranmere, a club firmly rooted in the Wirral community, our staff have built this unique partnership where young people who are mad keen on all aspects of the media – plus a love of sport – can use their passion for the Super White Army as a means of learning new creative skills.

“The 15 members of the Tranmere Junior Media Team are all die-hard fans and love the workshops where they can meet and interview their heroes. The players are brilliant too and help and support the young people by making themselves available for interview and off-pitch comment.

“Parents are backing the media team wholeheartedly as well. One young reporter, who is now planning to take an A-level in Media Studies as a result of the course, has turned the bathroom at home into a studio because it has the best light!

“He conducts mock interviews among his family, with his father taking various roles – from Tranmere chairman Mark Palios to the club's coach driver.”

Twelve-year-old Luke Armitage, another of the junior reporters, has created his own YouTube channel called LXA where he reports and comments on all things Tranmere Rovers.

A pupil at The Mosslands School in Wallasey, Luke said: “I'm doing the two things I like best – being at the club and getting involved first-hand with the players and producing my own video channel, all of which will hopefully get me my dream job as a Sky Sports TV presenter.”

Highlighting the work of the Tranmere Junior Media Team is the website www.juniorsuperwhites.com which is maintained by hi-impact along with the Twitter account @trfcmediateam and Facebook page www.facebook.com/JSWMediaTeam

Wirral school children who will be in Years 5 to 8 as of September 2017 can apply to be on next season’s junior media team by completing the online form at www.juniorsuperwhites.com/application - please note that places are very limited.

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Green initiatives win hi-impact major environmental award

The hi-impact team is presented with the Liverpool John Moores University Innovation and Technology Award by Professor Mike Riley (second from left), head of Department of Built Environment

The hi-impact team is presented with the Liverpool John Moores University Innovation and Technology Award by Professor Mike Riley (second from left), head of Department of Built Environment

THE use of cutting-edge technology in the battle to save and protect the environment has won hi-impact consultancy a top award.

The company won the Liverpool John Moores Innovation and Technology Award at the prestigious Echo Environmental Awards which recognise the best of the region's environmental projects and the people who are striving to make Merseyside a greener place.

The business competed against other organisations which have developed energy efficient technologies or adapted existing technology in a novel way to make a beneficial impact on the environment.

Managing director Alan Thompson said: “Winning this award is testament to our commitment to use innovative technology as a means of reducing not only our own energy usage but also bring massive cost and energy solutions to schools and other businesses all over Merseyside.

“To describe ourselves as a leading light in the field of energy saving technology is no idle boast but to be recognised by others for the work we do is a great achievement.”

As part of an initiative to introduce low energy computing into schools, the consultancy designed and installed low energy computers for a Birkenhead primary where the school's Eco Committee is monitoring energy usage comparisons against a traditional PC infrastructure. This innovative programme now has other Merseyside schools following suit.

The company, a former winner of the Thinking Outside the Box Award in the Merseyside Independent Business Awards and a finalist in the Echo Business Awards later this year, is also working with Sure Save Energy and Tranmere Rovers FC on the Green Rover energy saving initiative to bring together other like-minded organisations to deliver millions of pounds-worth of energy saving solutions and environmentally friendly projects to schools and businesses.

To help cut its own energy usage, hi-impact recently installed low energy computers, LED lighting and environmentally friendly ventilation at its new headquarters in Power Road, Bromborough.

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The hi-impact journey that turned a vision into reality

AN INCREDIBLE business journey is being celebrated by hi-impact consultancy as it reaches a major milestone in its history of bringing innovative technology to young people.

Ten years on, a vision inspired by teachers sitting around a kitchen table in Wirral has now become the reality of a pioneering operation whose innovative and creative learning methods are bringing the curriculum to life for hundreds of children, many of primary school age, for whom access to this level of technology would otherwise be impossible.

Civic dignitaries, Wirral South MP Alison McGovern, partners, suppliers and neighbouring businesses on Wirral International Business Park joined staff from hi-impact at the official opening of the company's new headquarters at Innovation House in Power Road.

The opening ceremony was carried out by the Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Pat Hackett, who said: “The celebration today is all about the development, growth, vision and success of a Wirral business. That vision - to enrich teaching and learning with the use of innovative technologies - has made a difference to the lives of teachers and children across Wirral, the UK and even abroad.

“I am flabbergasted by the technology available to our children today to engage them and make learning so much fun. I've seen robots in all shapes and sizes, 3D printers, crafts that children have sent into space, inflatable fish and even gallons of custard that I believe children can walk on in their science lessons - for the first time I really wish I was back at school!

“Nationally, hi-impact takes these fantastic experiences to 20,000 children and our local schools are going from strength to strength as each year more headteachers, teachers, governors and children benefit from this expertise that we have on our doorstep. Consultants are some of the best brains in the Edu-Tech world and it's great to think that when schools throughout the country look for the very best innovation, they look to hi-impact in Wirral.

“The talented team of technicians here have designed systems and an infrastructure that means these wonderful technologies actually work and teachers are confident to use them in their lessons without fear of them doing something unexpected.

“In this day and age, we all worry so much about our children living in an online world - talking to strangers and having access to things that we don’t even want to think about - and I feel reassured to hear about the number of children, parents and teachers who have benefitted from hi-impact training on internet safety so that thousands of children can go online safely in school.”

MP Alison McGovern added: “The hi-impact vision shows what can be achieved by believing anything is possible and pushing your boundaries to adapt to the rapidly changing world of innovative technology.

“It also sends a message nationwide – and further afield – that companies like hi-impact are leading the field when it comes to integrating this technology into the school curriculum so our young people are introduced from an early age to exciting and engaging experiences in science, computing, engineering, electronics and media.”

hi-impact consultancy was set up 10 years ago when the first vision for the company was pieced together by a small group of Wirral teachers at the kitchen table of its managing director Alan Thompson.

From its beginnings with just one contract, the company now has nearly half of Wirral's schools using its services. Pupils from over 100 schools in Merseyside and across the UK – primary and secondary - are today being introduced to its groundbreaking delivery of technology. Models of the hi-impact operation and consultancy services are also being exported outside the UK.

At the opening ceremony, Alan said: “This is the start of a new chapter in our history and, as well as being a celebration of our new office, is also a chance to reflect on a decade of hi-impact.

“Ten years ago, we had no idea where the business would go – it just seemed like a good idea. 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. The uncertainty of the future is what makes it so bright.

“This time last year we didn't know we would now be working with schools in Malta and India and that we would have an incredible science offering that's transforming the way in which the subject is taught to young people.”

Also among the VIPs at the official opening was Mark Palios, owner and executive chairman of Tranmere Rovers where hi-impact, official media partner of the club, provides video blogs, 3D imaging around the stadium, promotional videos and management of a junior media team.

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