Lab Rascals shortlisted for national award
21st August 2014
A young entrepreneur from Hull has been shortlisted in the Lloyds Bank National Enterprise Awards 2014 for her hands-on scientific entertainment company, Lab Rascals www.labrascals.co.uk
Student Katie Norman set up the independent business in 2013 after conducting research into her idea of science parties for children aged between 5-14 at the University of Hull, and now successfully hosts a number of workshops across schools in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.
Katie had been shortlisted from hundreds of applications from the top student and graduate entrepreneurs in the country in order to compete for a share of £50,000 cash investment and two year mentoring programme.
Katie said: “I am really pleased to be shortlisted for the Lloyds national Enterprise Awards and am looking forward to the next stages in September and October, over the last year my business has grown from strength to strength and I have received support from many organisations involved in the youth enterprise agenda in Hull.
“I set up Lab Rascals in order to demonstrate that science can be fun and is about exploring the world around us by investigating and experimenting. I want to help inspire more children to take an active interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) by offering a range of hands-on interactive science parties, workshops and festival entertainment.”
During her Masters Degree in Chemistry at the University of Hull, Katie’s research highlighted the demand for science parties and the need for more STEM outreach and support for primary schools. Since conducting the research she began offering science parties and workshops, alongside training days for primary school teachers to help tackle any issues they may have when delivering science lessons in school and provided them with a support network of experts in the STEM fields.
Ruth Badger, Patron of Hull Youth Enterprise Partnership, Said:
Since my appearance in the BBC Apprentice Series I have met a number of great young entrepreneurs in Hull and Katie follows in that tradition. During the last year I have watched her grow in stature and become a great young entrepreneur who fully deserves this recognition, and I and my fellow Patrons will be hoping that she wins the final prize to move her business on to the next level.
The Grand Final will take place in Edgbaston on Wednesday, October 15. An expert business panel including Tim Campbell, former Apprentice winner and founder of the Bright Ideas Trust – will judge the finalists.
Councillor Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder at Hull City Council, said:
We would like to congratulate Katie on her success after receiving yet more national recognition for her fantastic entrepreneurial skills and innovative business idea, Lab Rascals.
After being shortlisted for the Great British Entrepreneurs Awards 2013 and winning the Shell LiveWIRE Award earlier this year, we now wish her the best of luck for the Lloyds Bank National Enterprise Awards 2014 and hope she can once again prove to the judges how passionate she is in order to take the next step towards building her empire.
“Katie is an exceptional young businesswoman who has brought science and fun together for adults and young people alike and she should be applauded for remarkable achievements so far which is not only great news for Lab Rascals, but for the city as well.”
Katie is a member of the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank panel and is the northern commissioner for the national youth agency commission into youth entrepreneurship. Where she assist new business start-ups and researches into how to help more youths set-up and succeed in business.
Katie has also invented a new green energy board game with a group of year 9 school children from Malet Lambert School and young entrepreneurs Engaging Education the aim of this project is to educate children about renewable energy sources, alongside how to conduct market research and product design. She is aiming to get this game on the market after the successful pilot study at the big bang fair2014.
Due to the positive feedback and the success of this product she is planning to run more science and enterprising projects in the future. Enterprising and STEM areas are becoming more vital for the economy growth of the city, therefore she hopes to inspire many children into these areas.