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STEM the Flow public vote now open

Since the start of the Autumn term, schools across Scotland have been participating in our STEM the Flow Competition to design an engineering-based solution to address #Source2Sea litter.

STEM the Flow is part of the education programme for Upstream Battle - our campaign to reduce marine litter by tackling the problem at source. With 80% of marine litter coming from land - washed into gutters, blown into streams or lost down drains - it makes its way into waterways and eventually to the sea. We must stop this cycle of litter and prevent it from entering the sea in the first place.

To address this challenge as part of STEM the Flow, pupils were asked to design a way of collecting litter that is already in our waterways, or preventing litter from getting into them in the first place. After investigating the issue in their school and community, gathering information on their local area and researching existing technologies, the pupils have worked together to come up with a way that they think we can tackle the issue of marine pollution.

This year the five categories are:

  • Best Overall Project
  • Most Innovative Solution
  • Most Sustainable Solution
  • Best Investigation
  • Best Teamwork

Joe Oxley-Glenister, our Education and Learning Officer, said: "Our STEM the Flow competition is a fantastic way to get young people thinking about marine litter and how our actions on land can impact our precious blue spaces.

"Once again this year we've had some fantastic projects with really innovative ideas from across the country to tackle marine litter at source.

"The recently published Scottish Litter Survey has shown 9 in 10 people think litter is a problem across Scotland and that litter is causing damage to our waters. We all have a role to play to stop marine litter at source and it's wonderful to see so many young people show an interest and passion for solving the marine litter issue."

Amy McBirnie of Barr Primary School, South Ayrshire added: "This challenge marries so well with our learning. We have a river running directly in front of the school which feeds into the sea at Ballantrae. Pupils are already passionate about reducing ocean pollution and this challenge has enhanced their interest in this vital cause.”

Throughout the project, we have worked with STE(A)M Ambassadors from Jacobs Engineering to deliver online workshops on topics from Sustainable Engineering to Project Evaluation, supporting the participants in designing their solutions.

Pupils have submitted their final designs to tackle source to sea litter, but now we need your help to decide which solutions are the best!

The public vote is open from 18 December - 19 January. All the entries are on the STEM the Flow showcase page, where you can vote for your favourite.

18 December 2023

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