At the beginning of the year three of our staff members became STEM ambassadors and opted to take part in the 2019 STEM Challenge. The Challenge took place for the first time in Shropshire with the aim of raising the profile of STEM subjects; science, technology, engineering and mathematics, to school children and encouraging them to further their skills and consider STEM careers.
Acting as mentors for Idsall School we took on the brief to “design a product, using the elements of STEM, that has a positive benefit to an individual/group and the environment or just the environment”.
The team, consisting of 7 Idsall students and 3 Network Telecom mentors, decided to focus on creating a product to benefit the environment and chose to look at the amount of plastic pollution in England. Ultimately, the team wanted to create a product that reduced the amount of space taken up with plastic recycling at large events and so the Crump Master was created.
The product the team designed, the Crump Master, crushed plastic bottles ultimately reducing the space taken up in plastic recycling boxes by ¼. The future plans of this product are to reduce the number of times recycling lorries would need to collect plastic recycling which in turn reduces the amount of CO2 produced in plastic recycling.
We are proud to say that the team won the Best Operating Model category. In this presentation the team had to identify the target audience and explain the design criteria required for the product. In addition, they gave a demonstration of the product in action.
One of Network Telecom’s STEM mentors, Becky Homersley said of the win and the challenge itself “We are proud to have been a part of the 2019 STEM Challenge. It has been a really enjoyable experience to work with the team at Idsall School. They worked hard to create a prototype that was worthy of winning the Best Operational Model award. We hope that by taking part in this Challenge the children involved are looking forward to an exploring a career in the Technology industry.”