A design manager from an award-winning Shropshire construction company has been named Business Mentor of the Year at a county awards event.
Keeley Fox, from Knockin-based Pave Aways, was awarded the title at the Shropshire Star STEM Challenge 2019 awards for her work with the Marches School in Oswestry.
Keeley helped students at the school develop an adapter to fit on taps and open jars or pots for persons with poor hand control.
She worked alongside the Marches team for six months guiding them along the process. This included product selection, design, programme production, building prototypes and preparing for the presentation.
Fourteen schools took part in the challenge to develop a product which had some positive impact for people or the environment using elements they had learned from STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths.
The mentor award was sponsored by the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) in partnership with the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.
James Staniforth, chairman of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership skills board, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this initiative alongside the Careers and Enterprise Company.
“It provides an opportunity to engage more local employers with schools across the region. Business mentors provide far reaching benefits to schools in the form of knowledge, experience and skills and we are continuing to work with employers and educators to further build on these partnerships.”
Martin Wright, editor of the Shropshire Star, added: “Some of the ideas look like they could go into production and onto the market tomorrow – it just shows the level of talent we have in the schools in Shropshire.”
Steven Owen, managing director of Pave Aways, said the company was delighted with Keeley’s success and the work of students at Market Drayton’s Grove School and the Sir John Talbot School in Whitchurch which it also supported. The Sir John Talbot team won the Entrepreneurial Team award.
“It was a privilege to be part of this STEM Challenge and work with these groups of young people over the past six months. Their ingenuity, passion and hard work was a joy to experience and we are delighted to have been able to mentor these three teams.
“Watching them do their presentations today made us all so proud of what they have achieved in such a short time. The task now is to take the enthusiasm of the children and bring that into our work at Pave Aways. And if we struggle then we have got the best mentor in Keeley to help us through! We are already looking forward to being part of this next year.”