UK schoolchildren take part in upcycling challenge for Waste Week 2017

Over five hundred schools have participated in a competition to find the UK’s best upcycling project as part of Waste Week 2017, which aims to raise awareness amongst school communities on the importance of reducing waste.

The winning idea for a primary school, invented by Beaulieu Primary School in Jersey was a water exploration board for children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One to explore water through play in the outdoor learning area.

The winning idea for a secondary school was invented by a schoolboy at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. The creation is a candle holder that amplifies its light through a polished trowel head.

Waste Week is an annual campaign run by EDF Energy’s schools programme, The Pod, which targets students aged between four and 14. Teachers are encouraged to get their students thinking about the most innovative ways waste can be transformed in their lessons, including using recycled materials for activities such as arts and crafts and gardening during a week of their choice in March.

This year, students were also given the opportunity to take part in a competition to create a ground-breaking upcycling invention to demonstrate how discarded materials can have a second life and be converted into useful items. The competition was judged by Katy Newnham. CEO and found of social enterprise Wastebuster, and David Ferguson, Head of Digital Innovation, at EDF Energy and the prize was a £300 Amazon voucher for the winning schools.

Year 5 teacher Mrs Kelly Cronin from Beaulieu Primary school commented: “We are so proud to have won EDF Energy’s national competition as part of Waste Week 2017. We created a water exploration board for our outside learning area. It was a real effort across the whole school, and some of the children’s parents even came in to help to fix the equipment in place. The children and the teachers all learnt lots, and really enjoyed getting creative with the school’s old equipment.”

Mr Williams, a Technology Teacher from Altrincham Grammar School, commented: “Daniel’s upcycled candle was an innovative design, and we are delighted that Daniel has been rewarded for his efforts. The whole class really enjoyed taking part in the competition for Waste Week 2017, and we’ll definitely look to take part again in future.”

Robyn Thorn, Digital Education Manager at EDF Energy, added: “We have been very impressed by the quality of the entries to the competition. Shortlisting them was a really difficult task, as there were so many really creative ideas. EDF Energy is committed to encouraging children to take an active interest in sustainability, science and engineering from a young age we have been really pleased that so many schools have joined in with Waste Week again this year.

Through http://jointhepod.org/home, schools have access to assembly presentations, lesson plans, games, movies and more, all with cross curricular links as well as ‘take it home’ sheets so children can share what they learn about waste with their families.