Aberdeen charity calls on First Minister to back young people as solution to nation’s dying high streets

Sarah Chew (TechFest)

ABERDEEN Charity TechFest is calling on First Minister Humza Yousaf to support its vision of transforming high streets throughout Scotland before it is too late, and they die completely.

Following a successful pilot year which brought a range of creative designs by students across Scotland, TechFest is once again challenging secondary school students across the country to redesign their high streets as part of TechFest’s Blueprint Challenge: A Future High Street. TechFest promotes STEM to school pupils throughout Scotland. The TechFest Blueprint Challenge will support all S3-S6 pupils as they play their role in saving the country’s high streets.  

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The competition, aligned with the CREST Awards and grounded in STEM, asks students to come up with realistic ideas for regenerating failing high streets.

Sarah Chew, Managing Director of TechFest, said: “Scotland’s high streets are dying, and regenerating them is a huge challenge. We need the First Minister’s help to place this at the forefront of the national and local agenda. Young people and their fresh perspectives deserve to be heard by decision-makers and they might just have the answers and ideas that will help transform high streets throughout the country.”

Schools have until September 11th to register a team ahead of the project launch on September 12th.  

Teams will work together to create a project summary by the end of November, followed by a presentation day in December, where they will display their projects to a panel of experts, with a further opportunity to display their work as part of TechFest’s Science Festival in May 2024.   

The competition is curriculum-aligned, and students and teachers will receive comprehensive support materials, including a series of online webinars with industry professionals and an opportunity for students to showcase their skills to the local community. 

“Scotland has a strong heritage for innovation and shaping the modern world,” Sarah Chew added.  

“The TechFest Blueprint challenge offers a huge opportunity to develop progressive and ground-breaking ideas that can be held up as best-practice throughout the world, whilst engaging with young people in a fun, meaningful and impactful way.” 

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