Above: Framingham Earl’s winning team who created their very own alternative to plastic – Milk Plastic!

A team of Year 9’s from Springwood Highschool and a team of Year 7’s from Framingham Earl High were this year’s winners of Cleantech East’s annual Cleantech Challenge, and were awarded their prizes – brand new state-of-the-art 3D Printers – at Hethel Engineering Centre on 3rd May 2019.

 

The competition was open to schools across Norfolk and Suffolk and teams in both Key stage 3 and 4 were provided with a choice of 5 environmental challenges faced by the region and tasked with creating an innovative project idea to address their chosen challenge. Challenges included creating a low carbon vehicle, designing a way to reduce plastic pollution, helping address our region’s water scarcity issues, designing a smart village and creating a storage solution for our local renewable energy supplies.

Springwood Highschool’s winning team created a solid pitch for the creation of a new methane-powered vehicle. Focusing on a way to address both our air pollution and waste issues, the students came up with a plan on how they would repurpose the methane created by large lardfill sites, collect it in large piped infrastructures, burn it to heat water and create steam which would power their newly created non-fossil fuel powered vehicle.

Framingham Earl’s team of Year 7’s also impressed judges with their alternative to plastic – as they created a material made out of milk that could be used in place of plastic. Framingham Earl’s milk plastic was made from milk and vinegar and tested with different ingredients to ensure the most hardiness material. The Milk Plastic they created offers a decomposable material that could address our growing plastic waste problem.

This year’s runners up were teams from Felixstowe Academy and Reepham High who respectivel created a Smart Village model and an app coded by the students themselves to help reduce water consumption. All out entries this year were really impressive and the team at Cleantech East were thrilled to see the enthusiasm and passion from students who took part in this STEM challenge.

 

The Cleantech Challenge will run again in Autumn 2019. Contact ishipperlee@hethelinnovation.com to find out more how your school could be involved.