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University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) and Morris & Company have joined together to find Shropshire’s greatest Young Thinkers of 2018 in a creative competition launched to discover ‘one great idea to change the world’.

With one of the world’s greatest minds, Charles Darwin, growing up and forming his brilliant thinking right here, it is only fitting that young Shropshire talent comes up with the next big idea which will be judged and then crowned in February 2018, kicking off Shrewsbury’s exciting new Darwin Festival of Activities.

“As a long-established Shropshire business – we’ve been here since 1869 – and with more than 700 Morris colleagues based around the county, we are keen to help nurture and support the next generation of game changers within our county.

“This Competition helps us to build links between business and education and more importantly celebrate all the enthusiastic and creative young thinkers who live here,” said Robin Morris, Chairman of the fifth generation Morris family run business group.

UCS Provost, Professor Anna Sutton added: "We are already working together with Morris Property who are building the exciting Tannery student accommodation, so a competition to engage and ignite young minds is perfect for our next joint initiative.

“As a distinctive institution, we are committed not only to high-quality teaching and research, but importantly, to fostering enterprise and contributing to the community here in Shrewsbury.

“With courses including Genetics and Evolution, everyone at UCS is honoured to be establishing a Higher Education Institution in the birthplace of Darwin and to be launching this new opportunity to encourage innovation.”

This Competition is open to all young Salopians aged from 7 to 21 with the energy and enthusiasm to inspire with their ideas.

All entrants need to do is write a short piece on how they would change the world with one great idea - something they passionately believe in. There is no right or wrong answer. It could be about science, technology, health, happiness or anything else they believe could change the world for the better.

There are three age categories for entry: 7-11 years (who can simply use a picture to bring their idea to life and/or up to 350 words; 12-17 years with up to 750 words and any diagrams or pictures; and lastly, 18-21 years with a submission of up to 1,000 words.

How to enter details and full information can be found at:

All Shropshire youngsters are eligible to enter, even if they are educated outside the county, so no one is exempt.

In addition to a financial contribution to the winning entrants’ school/college or university, there are some fantastic prizes for the nominees: a sleepover Dino-Snores experience inside the London Natural History Museum for the 7-11 year old winner, the latest GoPro hero5 Action Camera for the 12-17 year old winner and a Virgin Balloon ride over the county for the 18-21 year old winner.

The Competition is now open and schools in the county are being notified of the opportunity, along with the closing date of November 30, 2017.

The judging panel comprises: Professor Anna Sutton, UCS Provost; Robin Morris, Chairman of Morris & Company; well-known author Isabel Thomas, who was shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize in 2016; Evyn Woodhouse, a participant of the Growing Confidence Project and finally, Deborah Wynne, Professor of English at UCS. They will select three finalists from each age category to take part in a live reading of their idea at UCS in front of family, friends, guests and judges before the winners are crowned Shropshire Young Thinker 2018 on February 8, 2018.


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