by Rosetta McLeod


A new company, Westex Electronics, have released a most inventive product designed to teach basic electronics to primary school children. The interesting thing about Westex is that it was set up by three teenagers, Andrew Marsh, Barry Hindmarch and Andrew Hawkins, as a result of the boys winning the Whitbread Business Challenge. This competition aimed to find the best business idea in the country, and was only open to those under the age of nineteen. Having won the competition and obtained some financing from a bank, a company was created to market the product — an aid to teaching the fundamentals of electricity and electronics.

The kit which they are now marketing consists of a printed circuit board, associated worksheets and companion computer programs. Two teachers are also involved in the venture, and have lent their expertise to the preparation of the excellent worksheets.

Westex began trading in November 1985, and a few months ago were able to move into their own premises and take on their first employee. In the contacts I have had with the company, I have been very impressed with the professionalism of the whole venture. Barry, who is at present studying for his A levels, and the two Andrews who are both employed in a local electronics firm, give only a part-time commitment to their company, but already their future looks promising. With the introduction of the new GCSE syllabus, five or six new products are in the pipeline, starting with a kit for teaching physics to pupils in the early stages of secondary school. CRASH COURSE will keep you informed of these new developments. In the meantime, if you were thinking of buying your child a chemistry or physics set, think again, and send off to Westex for their electronics kit.