Big Ideas Competition 2020 National Finalists!

We are pleased to announce the 12 National Finalists for the Solutions for the Planet Big Ideas Competition 2020.

Between September 2019 and February 2020, more than 3800 young people across the UK started thinking about what issues mattered most to them. In teams they came up with hundreds of new ideas, ideas that they believed could have a really positive impact on the world.  In March 2020 a global pandemic changed the way we were living – schools and businesses were closed, and we were confined to our homes.  56 teams of young people refused to give up on their Big Ideas.  They dug deep, despite being separated from their teams by distance, despite having to manage their time completely differently, having to share access to the internet and computers with other people at home or not even having any access at all45 of those teams, 150 young people, managed to complete well over 600 pieces of amazing work.

Within a couple of weeks, the Solutions for the Planet team pivoted the Big Ideas programme and created a completely reimagined Virtual Big Ideas Competition.  Our shortlisting events were held via video conferencing, with panels of amazing judges from our business partners and the community. Of those teams shortlisted, 39 made it all the way to the virtual regional final events – live online Q and A sessions with a panel of judges from our business partners Tarmac, IGEM, SGN, Mears Group, Northern Gas Networks and Kongsberg Automotive, alongside guest judges from sustainability, academia, business and industry fields, with a Young Person judge on each panel.

The seven virtual regional finals produced seven winners, who each gained an automatic place at the National Final.  The remaining five places are our ‘Wild Card’ places, chosen from ALL the other submissions.  (We initially intended to only have 3 Wild Cards, but the standard of entries was so high that we extended it to 5!).

Well done to ALL the teams that entered, you did yourselves and your schools proud.  You have proved beyond a doubt that young people are resilient, resourceful, relevant, remarkable, and a force to be reckoned with.  You are ALL brilliant.

And big congratulations to our twelve National Finalists, listed below, who we hope will be presenting their Big Ideas at the Palace of Westminster in London on Wednesday 18th November 2020 (pandemic permitting).

We wish all our teachers and young people in England a fantastic summer.  Stay safe everyone!

Team Name School Region Big Idea
Aero-Secure Outwood Academy Freeston North England & Central Belt Scotland A campaign to fund and build
prototypes for a tree-planting drone that runs on green energy.
Food For All Bannockburn High School NE & CBS A service to redistribute food in a cafe and educate people about healthy eating.
Spike Stoppers Kingsmeadow Community School NE & CBS A selection of straws and cups that will change colour if a drink has been spiked with particular substances.
Eco Air Royds School NE & CBS A car that is powered by air.
Team Bebo Colton Hills Community School Central England A robot that is used to collect the plastic from the oceans and a campaign to spread public awareness about plastic in the oceans.
Tears of Trees Alderbrook School CE A campaign to lobby companies to use less palm oil and an app so people can track personal usage.
A.S.A.P. Perton Middle School CE An ‘App Saving A Planet’ tracking how much non-recyclable plastic users are using (with rewards for less plastic use), funded by a plastic tax.
UV Disguiser Colton Hills Community School CE Two watercraft – the first of which detects plastic pollution in the oceans and the second of which collects it.
EAP Solar Solutions Alderbrook School CE A solar-powered, ocean-borne, alkali dispenser which serves to neutralise carbonic acid to protect coral reefs.
Mini-Bines Cams Hill School South England Mini-turbines used by schools for energy.
Beauti-Fill Priory School SE A mobile refill station for health, hygiene and beauty products.
The Root Problem Oaks Park High School SE Crushed fruit and vegetable seed cutlery which can then be planted and grown into plants.