July 13 2011 | Views: 1278
Kent and Medway
The Water Design Challenge is an innovative schools programme that challenges secondary school students to use design skills to come up with a solution to reduce water waste in their schools.
The programme was piloted in five schools in 2010 and involved Key Stage 3 pupils collecting real information about water use across their schools and using an online water footprint calculator to discover how much they are using and where it is being wasted. Professional designers worked with the schools to help them develop their ideas and design a service, product or system that will reduce water waste in their schools.
This year 29 additional schools in the Southampton, Horsham and Medway areas took part, and the Design Council and Southern joined forces with STEMNET to get STEMNET ambassadors working in schools to mentor students through the process. Fort Pitt Grammar’s entry impressed judges at the final of the 2011 Challenge by demonstrating that it would reduce the amount of water used in the school’s toilets by a third, saving around £5,000 on the school’s annual water bill.
Together with the Thomas Aveling School in Rochester and three other shortlisted schools from across the South East, the team from Fort Pitt Grammar travelled to Bewl Water reservoir on the Kent/Sussex border to pitch their idea to a panel made up of water industry and design experts. Their design centred on the concept of having two different types of toilet, one for urine only and one for faeces, to reduce the amount of water needed for flushing.