On Monday 20th May, teams from Solihull and Worcester attended the first of our two West Midlands regional finals. They came to Aston University to present their Big Ideas in front their peers and a panel of six judges.
11 teams presented on the day, and they came from five schools: Alderbrook School; Arden Academy; John Henry Newman Catholic College; Tudor Grange Academy Kingshurst; and Tudor Grange Academy Worcester. Each team delivered a 5-minute presentation and then answered questions from the judging panel. The judges included representatives from our business partners Tarmac, IGEM (represented by Lucy Ritchie from Energy and Utility Skills) and Brammer Buck & Hickman; as well as guest judges Merisha Stephenson from the BBC and Richard Davies MBE.
All the teams got a tour of the university led by a student ambassador, and after an incredibly tough deliberation period, the judges announced the results:
Solar Shark, Arden Academy: This team’s Big Idea is a solar-powered device to collect plastic from water (oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, etc.). What made this stand out was their ‘Solar Shark Cycle’ concept, whereby they use some of the plastic collected to build the next device.
Patches, Alderbrook School: This team had decided to use a relatively new concept of vitamin patches, but had developed their own very impressive social enterprise business model for selling them: they produce the patches, they sell them for profit to the wealthy health supplement market, and they use their profits to provide the patches for free to those in need globally.
Focus, Arden Academy : This team want to tackle water wastage and help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. They have designed a product called the Focus Flow, that can attach to your shower to alert you to when you should finish your shower. The app tracks your time, water usage, money spent and CO2 used so that you can use that information to bring all those figures down.
Focus are now through to the National Final at the Palace of Westminster on June 26th.
We wish team Focus the best of luck as they prepare for the National Final. We also want to congratulate ALL the students who presented on Monday – the breadth of ideas and level of creativity that they showed us all was incredible and inspiring!
Written by: Sarah Milburn, S4TP Programme Coordinator, West Midlands
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solutions for the Planet Ltd