Standing on the left with this team that made it to the 2016 competition final is their local MP Naz Shah. Hydro-lock want to address the problem of drought and water wastage in agriculture. Their Big Idea was to enrich soil with the chemical contained within nappies to increase its water storage capacity. This innovative solution was thought of on their Big Ideas Day and the team worked tirelessly for the next three months to develop their idea for the 2015/16 S4TP competition.
Hydro-lock worked with their science teacher (previously a chemist) to discover the active chemical within nappy fillings was called sodium polyacrylate. They then contacted BASF who produce the chemical to find out more about it and its safety.
To learn more about how Hydro-Lock used STEM skills and strong team work successfully to develop their idea, click here.
“ThermoField is a company based on induction technology. The technology works by having two magnets; one being an electro magnet. When turned on, a magnetic field is created which moves atoms in the magnet above, to create heat. This heat can be used to cook, to heat water and for any other thing that requires heat. The design we are working on relies on electricity and therefore we will be utilizing solar power for this. This will keep our design safe for the consumer and for the environment.”
Summary: Many people rely on gas stoves when they go camping, which is not only bad for the environment but also bad for their health. ThermoField’s product will save users time and money as they won’t need to buy gas canisters or other environmentally harmful fuels. The team are designing a portable induction hob that will be able to charge its batteries on solar panels installed at camp sites. The team haven’t limited themselves to UK markets; after success in the UK they hope to expand abroad, helping governments and charities reach those in isolated and deprived areas. The team understand that the first thing they must do before all of this, is design and build a working prototype. After coming third in the competition final, the team have already been in talks with University professors and SOLEC, a solar energy company, taking them one step closer to realising their dream.
School: Dixon City Academy, Bradford
Impact: National, International
Issues: Sustainable energy, Environment, CO Poisoning
“We made a visit to one of our local Primary Schools and spoke to the Deputy Head Teacher. At this meeting we explained our product and asked whether the school thinks they waste water. The Deputy Head agreed and said if we are able to collect solid evidence to prove we were saving the schools money and water. She also, said that she would readily buy our product as well as organize a time for us to speak to the children in her primary School.”
Summary: After learning that only 1% of the worlds water is drinkable and that we waste 95% of that, DWDH began thinking about how they could change this. They want to introduce a programme for schools that will reduce water wastage in three separate and distinctive ways. Firstly, all taps in the school that children use will be fitted with a DWDH dripmeter, allowing schools to track their water usage in real time. Second, the DWDH team holds an assembly in the school explaining the issues surrounding water wastage both here and in third world countries. Lastly, the campaign aims to reach the parents of pupils at schools with leaflets full of useful information encouraging more water savings at home. There is interest in the project, Thames Water and a local primary school are both keen to see a prototype. With the correct support structure and approach, we expect big things from team DWDH.
This team came third place at the 2016 competition final. They want to revolutionise gas camping stoves into electromagnetic stoves powered by solar panels. This team have anticipated the advance in technology of solar panels as a means of either charging batteries for stoves to run on, or directly powering the stoves themselves. With an impressive exclusively battery powered electro-magnetic stove they were able to demonstrate the science and wow the judges. Already in talks with Bradford University and the solar panel company, Solec, the team want to have a working prototype while the technology progresses.
This team came second in the 2016 competition final, with an adapted food waste bin helping households track how much food they waste. Their bin, with an electric weighing scale, connects to an app sending push notifications to user’s phones if wastage levels become too high. Also included in the app is a game for children to learn about the issue of food waste. After giving a strong presentation, clearly outlining the benefits of this product, it became clear this team is on the road to success.