Solutions for the Planet Workshop


The Solutions for the Planet day was a highly enjoyable day which the whole of Year 8 took part in on 16th January. Students learnt more about STEM, sustainability and global environmental issues such as pollution, deforestation, fuel poverty, food wastage. They developed their social skills, sat in random teams and not friendship groups. They gelled together really well, collaborating, listening to each other and then using their oracy and persuasion skills deciding on their key solution for the planet.

There was a great variety of tasks throughout the day which involved students reflecting on their own attitude to sustainability. They completed given lots of interactive tasks such as jigsaws, process diagrams to review the causes and consequences of environmental problems They also watched a number of short videos throughout the day that were interesting and engaged the students. This then led to the teams collaborating on their own big idea as their solution for the planet.

Claire Fitton and her colleague Jeremy were great presenters and they got students really on task and enthralled. They also encouraged pupils to be brave and give feedback to the rest of the year group on their findings.
There was a great variety of ideas from our students:

  • Aerosec with drones powered by solar panels to fight forest fires,feed and plant trees.
  • GCPG:- the global conflict prevention group which encourages peaceful protest.
  • A really fantastic ship that treats and recycles polluted water following oil spillages.
  • Second hand buses being used as part as a charity to help the homeless.
  • Conservation areas for koalas, taking into account the fact that their food source, eucalyptus, is highly flammable and conservation campaigns to protect the planet against deforestation.

Following the presentations, pupils in the audience asked questions and gave very positive kind feedback. There are 19 pupils who have indicated that they would like to continue with their project in the after school club. Konsberg, our industrial mentors are going to join us for 6 after school sessions before the regional final on 12th May ( business plans need to be submitted by the end of April). There are usually a maximum of 2 teams per school that go through to the regional final, however, Claire says in exceptional circumstances she will consider 3.

Konsberg, are part of an international Automotive Engineering company based on Normanton Industrial Estate. Kongberg develops the newest technology from the bottom of the sea to outer space. Through teamwork they translate innovations from one business area to another. They also have a plant in Zaragoza Spain. The mentors confirmed to Nicola Fernandez that they liaise with their team in Spain often. Nicola would also like to take a group of students to the plant in Normanton to show show them how they can use their language skills locally. It would be a great opportunity to see languages being used in a real work base environment. Julia Horrock Taylor, their HR manager and mentor has confirmed that Konsberg would like to invite the successful regional teams to their premises to look at the work that they do in engineering and manufacturing. They also sponsor an Olympic swimmers, Max and Joe Litchfield and they will arrange for them to deliver a motivational speech to our pupils during the visit. This is the feedback from our students:

Q) If you could use 3 words to describe the Big Ideas Day what would they be?

  • Helpful/fun/life changing
  • Exciting/challenging/educational
  • Amazing/best day ever
  • Inspiring/STEM/jobs
  • Ace/brilliant/cool
  • Educational/Interesting/Innovative
  • Creative/Amazing/Fascinating
  • Independent/Exciting/New
  • Encouraging My Future
  • Fun With Friends
  • Bonding/Powerful/Thought-inspiring

Q) Today I met Solutions for the planet and learned …………

  • ‘That I can do anything that I set my mind to.’
  • ‘That I am smart’
  • ‘About engineering jobs that I had never heard of.’
  • ‘That everyone and anyone can make a difference’
  • ‘Look after the planet more.’
  • ‘How important STEM is’
  • ‘That STEM skills are needed for everything that we do’
  • ‘That any ideas can work if you put in effort and commit’
  • ‘We need to help the planet’
  • ‘There is recycled toilet paper’
  • ‘That even if you think you can’t make a difference, you can’