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May 22 2015 | Views: 2078
Kent and Medway
Aqua Innovation finalists from five schools pitched their water saving ideas to a panel of judges including Jason Bradbury, presenter of Channel 5’s The Gadget Show, on May 22 at Fontwell Park Racecourse in West Sussex.
A team of year 8 students from Mascalls School invented a device to help protect the sewers – winning the final of Aqua Innovation, a unique competition run by Southern Water. The Key Stage 3 initiative is a thought-provoking process empowering students to use the process of investigation to improve the sustainability of their school and their environment. Aqua Innovation also features the expertise of the international charity WaterAid, advice from design experts, a school water audit and a trip to one of Southern Water’s treatment works. Students receive ongoing support from business professionals and STEM Ambassadors.
The Mascalls School team, also known as the FOG Busters, won first prize at the final after pitching their idea to a panel of judges. The FOG Busters idea promotes people to reduce the fat, oil and grease (FOG) they pour down the plug hole. The invention is called the ‘Bird Toasty’, a corrugated cardboard slice of bread with holes in which can be used to hold cooled FOG as a bird feeder. FOG contributes to three-quarters of all drain and sewer blockages, with about 3,000 properties in the South East flooded each year because of the accumulation of FOG in sewers.
Competition organiser and one of the judges, Julie Carly from Southern Water, said: “The students from Mascalls School have cleverly thought out their idea, turning a pain in the drain into something useful.”
Dr Ajay Sharman from STEMNET said: “It was a pleasure to contribute to the Aqua Innovation Showcase event, at Fontwell Park. Congratulations to all the schools that took part and particularly Mascalls in Kent, for winning the Aqua Innovation Award. Students in all the schools taking part in the Aqua Innovation programme, worked closely with STEM Ambassadors, role models from industry, such as design engineers and staff involved in the metering programme, with many of the STEM Ambassadors coming from Southern Water’s offices across the South East. It is very important to bring real world experience to supporting this kind of enrichment and I was impressed by the solutions young people came up with to tackle water efficiency, conservation and the problems of Fats, Oils and Greases (FOG), which can lead to blocked sewers and pipes”
Walderslade Girls’ School in Kent was also shortlisted to pitch their idea at the final along with Hampshire schools; Wildern and Cowplain Community and Davison High School in West Sussex. Chairman of judges was Matthew Wright, Southern Water CEO and the supporting judges were Avi Djanogly, founder of GabiH20 and Rob Fuller, Water Industry Partnership Leader, Water Aid.