Plastic Hackathon – Wycombe Abbey – 15 June 2019

Technology Educational Visit

A group of Wycombe High students attended a Plastic Hackathon event at Wycombe Abbey on June 15. It was a weekend of energy, passion and innovation to solve Plastic Pollution at the World's first Junior Plastic Hackathon.

Check out the superb pictures from the day on this link.

There were 38 Girls and 4 Boys. The event was not planned out this way but it shows how #GirlPower will save the planet - # MotherNature.

“We arrived at between 9.00 and 9.30 to register for the first ever Junior Hackathon event, hosted by Wycombe Abbey.

We were greeted with tea and cake before moving to the main hall where were separated in to six different teams that were made up of students between the ages of 8-18. In addition, there were local residents who contributed with their senior knowledge to each team. Other schools in attendance were; Wycombe Abbey of course, Godstowe, Independent schools and ourselves.

     

We started with some team building exercises to introduce ourselves to our new group members, before listening to the schedule for the day. We were treated to a guest speaker ‘Bluebell’, who is a local resident of High Wycombe and shared multiple stories with us, dating right back to World War 2; how packaging didn’t exist and that today’s societies live in a luxurious environment.

Once inspired, we brainstormed and constructed a mind map of problems based on a given theme; child’s toys, fast fashion, toiletries, stationery, etc. We had to identify challenges that existed and prevented these items from being plastic free. As part of this, we highlighted our top three concerns which were; single use items, packaging and manufacturing.

          

We broke for lunch which was fantastic, and as you can see, all served plastic free. Although the aluminium cans require large amounts of energy to manufacture, they are 100% recyclable; which requires less energy to recycle that manufacturing from finite resources.

Once full, we gathered back in our groups and began to brainstorm ideas before selecting a possible product to present in our ‘Dragons Den’ style pitch. We had to include a PowerPoint to support our presentation and evidence a consideration of the cost of our product, its carbon footprint and who it would appeal to.

Judges from the Plastic Hackathon company, University of Oxford and the Head of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) at Wycombe Abbey, listened to each of our pitches before selecting the winners for each of the awards; Most environmentally friendly - best impact around the world / Most Creative / Overall Winner - Best Product

Several of the Wycombe High students were in the winning team who took home the ‘Most Creative’ award, with the judges providing lots of positive feedback on their work. The students had a great time and really benefitted from the professional advice they received”.

The Plastic Hackathon team are now working to get the solutions presented to Pret, M&S and Ecover and we will keep us updated with the outcome.

Who knows what sustainable designers of the future we might produce.

We are very grateful to Wycombe Abbey for hosting and to Zuzanna Jakubczak / Plastic Hackathon for delivering the day.



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