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St Timothy's Primary School & St Andrew's Secondary

Winner: Best Teamwork 2023

St Timothy's Primary School and St Andrew's Secondary collaborated on their STEM the Flow entry, as a 'transition' project for the pupils.  

The two schools called their team The Merge and their design is a series of recycling bins to be placed along the riverside.

The team visited the Squinty Bridge to take part in some litter picking and take note of areas that had the most rubbish.  

During their visit they noticed that plastic was the most commonly littered item and also discovered that there were no recycle bins around the areas they visited.

Their design was therefore composed of three parts:
1. A netting design which could be released on particularly windy days in conjunction with a barrier to prevent litter entering the water. The netting system would have a mechanism that would allow the netting to reach from one side of the river to the other.  This would create a barrier to prevent litter blowing into the water and would also offer shelter at the riverside.

2. Next, an infrared system with a hoover function could be put on a boat and be used to find litter in the river. The infrared function would mean that no wildlife was harmed.

3. Lastly, the team proposed to locate recycling bins around the Squinty Bridge with a hand sensor device to open the bin to prevent rubbish from falling out.

The STEM Group at St Andrews school focused on one part on the project and the STEM group at St Timothy’s focused on the second part of the project. They met regularly to have team meetings and share their findings with eachother. 

They discussed the potential for rubbish to fall out of bins when they get too full and proposed a hand sensor to open the bin and prevent this from happening as the only way to open the bin would be by using the hand senor. 

Pupils had recently been learning about solar power and wanted to use this form of energy as a way of opening the bin so that the senor wasn’t causing any harm to the environment.

The team took measurements of the railing along the river so they had a rough idea of the length and width the recycling bins would need to be.  

Pupils met with their mentor Paul who kindly helped with litter picking and helped them think about how the sensor would work in the evening.

The group had collected over 6kg of waste in a stretch of approximately 40m during their visit to the Squinty Bridge.  They spent time weighing and recording the type of litter and decided they would need four bins to handle that much litter.

They had some concerns about how the sensor on the bin would work at night time, as this could potentially be a peak time for littering.

After discussing several ideas including creating a lever on the bottom of the bin to open and close the door, or making a handle that opens and closes manually, they decided they wanted to make full use of their solar power sensor idea.

Aston (P7) came up with the idea of a power bank that would be attached to the bin and charged by the energy from the sun throughout the day. The energy from the power bank would then be saved so that it could be used during the night time.

Infrared Hoover: This boat mounted device will allow any litter which has entered the water to be removed without endangering marine life. 

Glasgow-Wide Bin Design Competition: Pupils decided to introduce a Glasgow wide Bin Design Competition with the winners having have their design displayed on the new recycling bins. This competition could take place in Schools around Glasgow.

They introduced the idea the P1 and P2 at St Timothy's Primary School and presented their designs to the whole school at a weekly assembly.

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