Net Zero Heroes

Our Year 7 Team has reached the final of this national school project which aims to help students understand the impact of greenhouse gases on the planet. This is  based on the UK government’s law requiring the UK to reach net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. By getting involved in this competition, it is hoped that students will learn what difference they can make and how easily it can be achieved. Hopefully this will encourage students to think about and make small changes to their lives, which will have an overall positive impact on the Net Zero target. In a wider context the project will help students engage in STEM subjects and help them consider careers in engineering.

In lessons students looked at the effects of greenhouse gases on the planet and their impact on global warming. The next step was to look at their own personal carbon footprint  (including transport, using material resources and the food we eat) and ways they could reduce their carbon footprint using the 3Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle. After completing a lifecycle analysis of a plastic bottle, students came to the conclusion that using plastics is a big problem not just because of pollution but because of the energy and resources it takes to make them – even if they are recycled.

To solve this problem students realised that they needed to come up with a solution where they could fill their reusable water bottles with cool water without using any energy produced by  fossil fuels. Students found a possible solution by  looking back at how food and water was kept cool before electricity. From this students designed a terracotta water cooler that would be buried underground with the water being pumped up by solar power when needed. 

Students put their idea forward in a “dragons den” style presentation online hosted by a panel of industry experts on Friday.