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Teaching the “Yogurt Challenge”!

Gemma O’Hare recently joined SIE as our new Enterprise Programme Assistant. Here she talks about running the “Yogurt Challenge” at her first Ideas Lab, which took place at GCU university on 24th February.


As a new employee at SIE I was excited, and I must admit also a little apprehensive, about delivering my first workshop. The first SIE Ideas Lab I observed was the Yoghurt Challenge, after seeing students take part in a challenge that they found to be both fun and an engaging, I could not wait to deliver the workshop to students.

Last week I delivered my first workshop to students at GCU, they took part in the Yoghurt Challenge. This workshop gave them the chance to practice some tools and techniques, helping them to identify and maximise their skills as an innovative thinker. The students were set the yoghurt challenge and asked to come up with innovative ideas to solve it, ideas that not only solve the problem but have the potential to be developed on a commercial basis. Students observed one of their peers eating the yoghurt, while writing down their observations and insights. They then worked as a group to solve one of these problems, by designing new yoghurt for a specific client, before presenting/pitching their ideas to their fellow students.

What I like best about delivering this Ideas Lab is that the emphasis is on learning by doing, it is fun, interactive and provides students with the tools and techniques that they can apply to their own areas of interest, health checking their own ideas.  Recognising and developing skills as an innovative thinker is an important part of a student’s degree and time at university.  It is a skill that is valued by today’s graduate employers as well as a skill that is at the core of any new business venture.

The yoghurt challenge is a workshop that the student enjoy, can relate to and one in which they learn skills and techniques that they can use in the future. It is also a workshop that I thoroughly enjoy facilitating and one which I look forward to doing again! 


For more information on SIE’s Innovation & Enterprise Programme and how it can support enterprise education at your institution, click here. Alternatively, educators can contact Ann Davidson, Enterprise Programme Director, at