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.