Esperance Programme - Shop 'til you drop

In November 2016 we set a group of GCSE students at Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale, with a challenge. To research Windermere Jetty and its collection to find inspiration for a product that could be sold in the Museum’s shop. The product had to be suitable for 6-9 year old children and be priced accordingly. The students were to make prototypes of their products and all products were judged at the final session, just before the Christmas holidays.

Each student researched what other museums sell in their shop, visited the site to put the project into context, generated ideas of what they would like to develop and then chose two products to focus their attention on. The students also researched the packaging, creating a prototype to show us how it would work to protect and market their product.

Towards the end of the project, the students gave short presentations about their products, their reasons for choosing their particular product, how it met the brief that we gave them and why they felt that their product would sell in the Windermere Jetty shop. We were really impressed and excited to see the wide range of ideas that the group came up with.

Products ranged from book bags, money boxes, colouring books, puzzles, keyrings and so much more. At the end of the presentations, we shortlisted six products and brought them back to see what our colleagues thought of them.

Following much deliberation, and some road testing at one of our volunteer events, we finally had our winner and a runner up. All that remained was to tell the students the good news. We were invited into school in March 2017 to announce the winners, at a Year 10 assembly, and to present the winner and the runner up with a certificate.

Our winner was Dominic's fabulous key ring. Our team felt that this design most closely met the brief that we had given the students and had considered the cost of producing and selling the product. Our colleagues, and the volunteers saw the potential for this design to be made into a cup coaster, or maybe a broach. We had no problem imagining how this product would fly off the shelves.

Our runner up was Sarah's amazing Maze Game. Sarah had clearly thought about the age range in the brief, considering how small parts needed to be fully encased so that they couldn't escape. Our team loved the bold design and colour scheme and everybody in the office wanted to play the game.

Congratulations to both Dominic and Sarah on their wonderful products. We would also like to say a big thank you to all the students and staff involved in this project for their hard work and enthusiasm. It's been great working with you all!