Simon Robertson

Simon Robertson

Through project management, I believe we can provide children with some value-added life skills; that’s what made this pilot so important.

Simon Robertson, PMP

22 July 2016

Hampshire, United Kingdom

At the PMI® Global Congress 2009 — EMEA, Simon Robertson, PMP, first heard about successful efforts to teach project management to schoolchildren. Walter Ginevri, PMP, from the PMI Northern Italy Chapter was the source; he shared information about his efforts to teach life skills to primary school students through project management. Simon had a dream to do the same in the United Kingdom.

“Meeting Walter sparked an idea of mine. Project management skills are basically life skills that can be provided to schoolchildren,” says Simon. He returned from the Global Congress and met with PMI United Kingdom Chapter leaders to entertain how they might move forward to that end. In 2012, Simon and his team launched the pilot by training six Mill Chase educators how to teach project management skills to children. The teachers then scheduled eight sessions during the spring term and thereby brought the program into the classroom.

A group of 120 students—all 11­ year ­olds in the Year 7 cohort—worked in groups to plan, organize, budget and model an Olympic stadium, the groups gave their final presentations before an audience of adults and their peers. Duncan Chappell, PMP, president of the PMI UK Chapter was present; he gave closing remarks and presented winning teams with their awards.

Simon believes outcomes could be duplicated elsewhere: teachers feeling more confident about teaching project management and students gaining skills in planning, presenting and working in teams. “Through project management, I believe we can provide children with some value­-added life skills; that’s what made this pilot so important,” says Simon.


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