The next phase of the programme

It’s the end of January, and that means 3 of our 4 regions’ schools have had all their Big Ideas Days and are into the next phase of the programme – the development sessions.  Here is a quick update from our regional Programme Coordinators:

North England update – Claire Fitton

2019 has got off with a Big Bang of 5 Big Ideas Days involving over 620 students!  Several schools had two consecutive Big Ideas Days to accommodate the number of students taking part!  Those mentors who have attended have been fantastic interacting with the students and passing on information about their careers and Tarmac.

The ideas that the students have come up with have been truly impressive ranging from a ‘digital nose’ to detect food that is going off, to a ‘toilet trap’ to stop plastic and fat entering the sewers!!!

All our schools have now had their Big Ideas Days, and now the development sessions begin.  The teams are looking forward to their mentor support – so we welcome any more Tarmac or IGEM mentors in the region that are keen to help support the schools: just get in touch with !

South East update – Charlotte Hosier

A fantastic start to 2019 in the South East with two Big Ideas Days taking place in two new schools.  January saw the team running a day for the first time south of the river in London ( The Charter School East Dulwich)  as well as our first ever day in West Sussex ( Bohunt School Worthing).  Across the two days we worked with a total of 300 students with support from mentors from our partners Tarmac, Mears, SGN and Suez.

It’s been a privilege to see the students working on tackling problems from palm oil to water waste and witnessing the solutions they come up with. I can’t wait to see how the ideas progress.

February is our busiest month, with 6 Big ideas due to take place in the South East stretching from East London down to the South Coast.

Scotland update – Kate Kirkland

We have now held all three of our Scottish Big Ideas Days, at Larbert, Biggar and Trinity High Schools – all producing exciting and innovative ideas! Trinity High School have been working on their ideas since returning after their Christmas break and three mentors from SGN and Tarmac have already attended a development session to support the teams.  We’re looking forward to attending development sessions with mentors at Biggar and Larbert High Schools in the weeks to come.  I’m also very close to confirming the venue for the Scottish Regional Final and will announce that shortly!

West Midlands update – Sarah Milburn

It’s been a busy start to the year in the West Midlands, but we had now held all 11 of our Big Ideas Days, and a lot of the schools are well underway with their development sessions.

We’ve worked with over 1000 students, in 11 schools from Wolverhampton to Solihull, and had the support of 26 mentors from our partners Tarmac, Brammer Buck & Hickman, and IGEM.  The students have really allowed themselves to think BIG and I can’t wait to watch the ideas as they develop over the next couple of months.

Contributions from all members of the Solutions for the Planet team.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solutions for the Planet Ltd.