Nine Twenty Blog | Insp-Hire: How we ignited young people's imaginations and dreams!

Insp-Hire: Igniting young people's imaginations and dreams!

Nicola Paul

Saturday the 14th of September has been and gone and we have taken a week to recover! What started as a tiny idea in March became a huge reality last weekend and we saw our dream come alive in our first ever Insp-Hire event.


Boy wearing VR headset


Nine Twenty have worked hard to help attract talent into our technical markets but wanted to do something different and reach out to a target market that we hadn’t worked with before - parents, guardians, families!


Managing Director of Manufacturing and Engineering, Karen Stewart says;

“We understand that as parents we want to know what the future holds for our children, and we were both passionate about creating an event that could educate and inspire families together”.


Karen Stewart from Nine Twenty speaks to the audience


So, with no real plan or budget, we set about making it happen. We discussed the concept, audience and decided on aiming the event at 4-14-year olds so we could reach children who had just started primary, to young people in secondary who are choosing their specific school subjects. We roped in our friends from SmartSTEMs to utilise their knowledge on running great events for children and partnered with Glasgow Caledonian University as our host. We set a date we felt would work and then the hard work really started!


Our networks are huge between us, so we mapped out as many companies as possible to invite them along to showcase their technologies, but also to discuss where their business and sector is heading in the future. Karen Murray from SmartSTEMs helped pull together twelve amazing workshops and we picked four fantastic speakers to fit with our futuristic and inspirational theme. We are happy to report, not one person declined to help! We were humbled at the support offered and wanted to make this the huge success we knew it could be.


After embarking on our first TV media campaign, we were inundated with people wanting to come along. We were excited as we knew this event could be special, but the pressure was there to make sure it was great. We had never organised a public event, with so much unknown territory, it was exciting but terrifying.


Boys playing with robots


On the day, we had prepared for the best and the worst, but all in all we needn’t have worried. Inspire-Hire opened the doors at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) at 10am and straight away we had families filtering through the door. Our lovely team of volunteers were on hand to make the registration process as slick as possible and to welcome people in for the day ahead.  Karen Stewart opened the event with a welcome speech followed by a short chat from Tuleen Boutaleb (GCU) who was then followed by our first speaker, Lindsay McQuade (Scottish Power Renewables). This went down a treat with the young people, with them taking part in a Q&A session to win a Lego wind turbine.


After the session the first round of workshops started, and we had a full house for each. For those who didn’t get booked into the workshops, our 40+ exhibitions offered lots of interactive fun for families. From steering a ship to coding robots to using Virtual and augmented reality, our network had provided plenty of chances to participate.  


People looking at an exhibition


Our second and third speakers were Gillian Docherty (Data Lab) and Gavin Oates (Tree of Knowledge) who offered very thought-provoking discussions on different themes and again captured their audiences! While these were taking place, our workshops continued throughout the day, and the exhibition area remained busy.


The final speaker to close off the busy, fun and successful day was Stuart Stott, MD of Fore Digital. Stuart is a young entrepreneur who has built a creative and exciting business and his theme focused around being you and embracing your quirks.  He then gave away a top of the range headset to a lucky winner who was delighted. The day came to a finish with Nine Twenty’s prize giveaway for people who had taken part in competitions throughout the day. Our winners will be published soon, so stay tuned to our social media pages!  


Girls looking at structures


Karen Stewart says;

“It was amazing to see so many engaged families enjoying learning about STEM together. I felt very emotional seeing how successful the day was, and the passion of all our volunteers and partners who made Insp-Hire so special. It was a big achievement for us, and I am sure we reached the hearts and minds of many families, inspiring them to think of a career in STEM. All our hard work and effort really paid off and it was so worth it to see all the young people having a brilliant day”.


We had over 900 people attend and plan to run these events in future so please get in touch with Karen Stewart if you’d like to participate in the future. Nine Twenty would like to thank SmartSTEMs, Glasgow Caledonian University, and of course all our workshop hosts, speakers and exhibitors who volunteered their time to ‘Insp-Hire’ the next generation.


Family working around the table with colouring in pens



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