Staffordshire University’s Aim2Sustain competition tasked Year 10 – 13 pupils to create a sustainable solution for a business such as reducing waste, preventing pollution, conserving water and using more sustainable materials or products.
Teams from the Discovery Academy, Birches Head High School and Thomas Telford Sixth Form worked closely with their chosen business throughout the project and received support from Staffordshire University experts.
This month, pupils presented their project plans – including activity timeline, budget and HR requirements – in the Aim2Sustain finals at Staffordshire University’s new flagship building The Catalyst. All participants were rewarded with tickets to Alton Towers and the three top teams received Amazon vouchers and a commemorative award.
2nd and 3rd place prizes were awarded to teams from the Discovery Academy with a team from Thomas Telford School taking first place. The winners based their project on Cannon Raceway go-karting track and looked at how to make the business more sustainable by switching from petrol to electric go-karts.
Kian Wootton said: “It feels amazing to win to be honest! When we first came, we weren’t sure whether we had a chance, but we did everything we can to make the business more sustainable.
“Putting it into practice was good because we were able to go to the business and find out about what they do and where we could improve the business and make it more sustainable.
“I think it is very important because when it comes to our generation, we need to be able to find more energy efficient methods because fossil fuels aren’t going to last forever.”
Teammate Josh Elks added: “The project was very enjoyable from the beginning to the end. It’s quite interesting to think that there are small changes that a business can make that impact the environment in a very big way.
“I think it’s very important because we are the generation now that needs to step up and do something about it before it’s too late and before we can’t go back.”
The Aim2Sustain competition ties in Staffordshire University’s own environmental sustainability strategy which aims to achieve major change through research, innovation and enterprise and student and civic engagement. It is also designed to promote the University’s exciting new degree courses in Business Management and Sustainability; and Climate Change.
The judges included Josie Morris from sustainable packaging company Woolcool, Sophie Stanway from JCB Academy, Associate Dean – Recruitment for the School of Justice, Security and Sustainability Dr Ruth Hudson and Dr Janet Wright who will teaching on Staffordshire University’s new Climate Change degree.
Dr Ruth Hudson said: “They have been really outstanding so it is a credit to the young people that have done this in their teams to show a project from start to finish and how they can save businesses money.”
“It’s really important that we can engage with our local schools and colleges because these young people have such creative and innovative ideas and by sharing them with us as a university, we can work together to make sure businesses are prepared for an eco-future that will help the planet.”