News: Pupils challenged to design new ways of tackling Clyde sea litter
West of Scotland school pupils have been tasked with engineering new and innovative ways of reducing sea litter in and around the River Clyde.
The STEM the Flow campaign asks young people to tackle the issue of Source to Sea litter through an engineering-based design challenge.
Open to pupils from Primary 6 to S3 in the eight local authorities that comprise the West Partnership, teams can choose to look at ways of collecting litter that is already in the Clyde, or ways of preventing it from entering waterways in the first place.
It's estimated that over 12.7 million tonnes of plastic is dumped in the sea annually, impacting our own food and air quality and threatening native habitats and killing wildlife. Sea litter also contributes to climate change, with greater production of greenhouse gases due to damaged ecosystems.
Led by Keep Scotland Beautiful, young people are encouraged to investigate the issue in their school grounds or local area and collect evidence to inform their solutions.
The challenge is open from October 2022 until February 2023, when teams will be invited to showcase their projects at Glasgow’s Riverside Museum for a judging panel and the general public.
STEM the Flow is supported by Scottish Water, BAE Systems and Jacobs Engineering, who will lead workshops and provide professional advice to the young people as they work on their projects.
Jaimie Cunningham, STEM Development Officer, Glasgow City Council, said:
“STEM the Flow is a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to apply their engineering and problem solving skills to real life problems. They get to interact and work with STEM professionals and gain an insight into hitherto unknown careers in industry – helping them see that their opportunities and options in STEM really are innumerable.”
The challenge is part of Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Upstream Battle initiative, which focuses on changing littering behaviours to reduce marine pollution. The initiative offers a catalogue of resources to build young people’s awareness of sea litter, with learning programmes for both educators and children.
STEM the Flow is open to school pupils across East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.