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Eleven teams from Caithness and north Sutherland compete in junior Dragons' Den type challenge

By Gordon Calder

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YOUNGSTERS from primary schools in Caithness and north Sutherland have taken part in a junior Dragons' Den type challenge.

The events were held at Thurso and Wick High Schools and were staged as part of the Developing the Young Workforce North Highland (DYWNH) initiative run by the Caithness Chamber of Commerce.

Eleven teams were involved and had to design and pitch a product to a panel of local Dragons. The challenge was to create Pawsome Products For Pets with the children encouraged to develop a product that would stand out from the rest.

The Dragons, local business representatives, judged the presentations on communication, teamwork, creativity and budgeting.

They had a difficult task but in Thurso chose Castletown Primary's Creative Kids as the Junior Dragons Den Champions.

Best Presentation was Pets R Us, Halkirk Primary

Most Creative went to Miller Academy 2 with the Most Marketable going to Miller Academy 1

The Junior Dragons Den Champions received an engraved glass trophy and a £200 cheque for their schools and category winners received a trophy and £50 cheque for their schools. All participating pupils received a certificate.

Creative Kids from Castletown primary with Nicola Innes
Creative Kids from Castletown primary with Nicola Innes

In Wick, Newton Park Primary's Supreme Six took the Junior Dragons Den Champions title with Best Presentation going to K9 Kit, Noss Primary and Most Creative being won by F.R.E.D, Newton Park Primary. The Most Marketable went to Paw Fit, Noss Primary.

Supreme Six from Newton Park primary with Nicola Innes
Supreme Six from Newton Park primary with Nicola Innes

Nicola Innes, DYWNH project lead, said: "We were amazed at the imagination and innovation we saw, and all the pupils involved should be proud of the effort they put in to their designs. Congratulations go to all the teams who participated."

Trudy Morris, chief executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce, said: "It was wonderful that so many of our local primary schools were involved.

"Working with such talented and innovative young people is always a privilege, and it has been fantastic to see such creativity once again on display. There was much enthusiasm and there were also some truly excellent ideas. In business and enterprise terms, it feels like future generations will bring great things to the north Highland region."

The Creative Kids from Castletown primary six and seven later visited UHI North Highland and had a tour of the Merlin Cinema in Thurso where they saw a film, had popcorn and juice funded by their prize money.

The Supreme Six overall winners and Most Creative F.R.E.D combined their prize money and held an end of term Summer Festival barbecue in the school grounds. Both teams were made up of P7 pupils only, so they decided they wanted to have an evening together before moving on to secondary school.

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