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UK team scope top prize at international STEM competition

UK team scope top prize at international STEM competition

The @BIEAeducation (BIEA) is proud to host its third STEM competition today. The 2020 BIEA International STEM competition to ‘Save Our Shores from Plastic Pollution’ encourages young innovators from around the world to use technology to help counter plastic waste and save threatened marine and land-based life.

36 finalists teams aged 9-17 from 14 countries (US, UK, Bosnia, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, Philippines, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, UAE, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Hong Kong) showcased their designs and prototypes to an international judging panel.

At the online award ceremony, teams from all over the world shared their experience. The grand prize was won by Team Amet Activists from the Beacon School in Banstead, UK. Despite the chaos caused by COVID-19 to their education, the GCSE students made an effort to continue with their project remotely. Their designs involved the application of enzyme to dissolve plastic waste, redeployment of military tankers and automated robotic mechanisms to collect the plastics.

Evie Mackenzie, the project writer, was thrilled with the win, ‘The BIEA competition has expanded my learning, environmental awareness and my confidence and had encouraged me to pursue a STEM career with all the skills I have learnt. To be globally recognised is an honour and now more than ever I think competitions like this are so important to get younger people to apply their learning and expand their interest in STEM to make the differences to the world they want to see.’

The judges were very impressed by the quality of the submissions, Chris Coode, Deputy CEO of Thames 21 said, ‘The teams I met were full of inspiring young people with great ideas on how to tackle the global problem of plastic waste.’

Amelia Perry, Big Bang competition manager from Engineering UK had this to say of the winning team, ‘The team showed great maturity in their approach toward STEM, they were outstanding in their QA session and I felt their passion for STEM and the environment.’ 

Prof. Rick Chandler, Chairman of CMA, urged industry partners to take a serious look at some of the finalist designs, ‘There are real potentials for making these prototypes a reality, these young people just need a little more support from the industry.’

“We know that the world has a plastic problem as our oceans and lands have become polluted with our carelessly discarded plastic waste. This plastic will take thousands of years to decompose on land, whilst the plastic in the oceans break up into toxin-laden tiny particles, causing chemical pollution in the oceans. By bringing attention to this crisis and discussing how scientific technology can help clean up plastic waste before it becomes environmentally dangerous, we at the BIEA hope to engage today’s international youth to use education to become the ones who can help save the planet of plastic pollution,” said David Hanson, STEM competition chairman at BIEA.

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