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Portsmouth Academy students shine in Solutions for the Planet Competition

May 24, 2024 09:15am

The Portsmouth Academy's budding innovators have made a remarkable impact in the Solutions for the Planet Big Idea competition, showcasing their dedication to sustainability and innovation.

The journey began at the start of the year, when 80 students from Years 7, 8, and 9 gathered in the main hall to develop their "Big Ideas" for a more sustainable world. The students presented their proposals to their peers and a panel of industry professionals, setting the stage for further development.

Eighteen passionate students decided to take their ideas further, joining the STEM club and committing their after-school hours to refine their concepts.

With guidance from business mentors who have been absolutely incredible, the students developed solutions ranging from bioplastics and digital skills for combating elderly isolation to using technology to fight wildfires, sustainably powered air filters for schools, and urban greening through tree and plant growth.

Their hard work paid off as they honed their business plans, presentations, and video pitches. They secured five spots in the regional competition at Portsmouth University, the culmination of their efforts.

The regional final was a day of excitement and anticipation. The entire Big Ideas team, along with business mentors, gathered to support the students. Although Tom Ward MBE, one of the business mentors, couldn't attend in person, he sent a supportive video message from Falmouth, where he was on-site at Tarmac Marine. Sharon Ralf from Tarmac was present throughout the day, providing updates to Tom and cheering the students on.

The community judges were thoroughly impressed with the students' ingenuity and commitment. One team emerged as the "Regional Runners-up," while another was crowned the regional winners, earning a coveted spot to present their idea at the Palace of Westminster later this summer term.

"I am immensely proud of all our students involved, from those at the Big Ideas Day at the beginning of the year to those who made the finals," said Miss Watford, who led on this opportunity for the pupils. "They have shown us that the future is safe in the hands of our young people, who strive to solve some of the world's biggest issues using their innovation and creativity."

She continued: "The success of The Portsmouth Academy students in the Solutions for the Planet competition underscores the importance of nurturing young talent and encouraging them to tackle real-world challenges. As they prepare to present at the Palace of Westminster, these young innovators are not only making their school proud but also paving the way for a more sustainable future."