Life Sciences UTC Students work to enter the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize


A group of six Ignite students (Aakash, Monas, Isaac, Tamino, Mateo and Jayden) are working together on their entry to the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize. This is a year-long competition that challenges teams of young people aged 11 to 16 to design, test and develop technology enterprises for social good. They are currently planning their project which includes a weekly google meet with Dr Dyer and Sarah so that they can present their ideas and progress.

The project they have selected is to design and develop an integrated plastic waste processor for homes and businesses. Their idea is to use mealworm larvae to break down unrecyclable plastic waste to avoid it going to landfill. They then want to use any dead mealworm/beetles to produce fish or bird food. They also wish to make the waste processor a smart device by using technology linked to a phone app to monitor and the system. They are still in the early planning stages, but we are excited to see what they come up with.

Dr Dyer says, “This project has been one of the most enjoyable parts of remote learning. It has been so interesting to work with a small group of enthusiastic, dedicated year 9s who are buzzing with ideas about how technology could be used to improve our lives in the future. The project has allowed them to be very creative and has also encouraged them to develop their team working skills to be able to organise the planning and share ideas remotely. I think their idea of designing a household waste processor for non-recyclable plastics which uses mealworm larvae to break down plastic waste is very exciting, and I look forward to seeing where they take the project.”

Aakash, one of our students says, “I love that in PBL you learn by doing projects. The Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize is one of the best projects I have ever done. I have learned a lot of valuable knowledge that will help my future endeavours” ​

The prize for the winning team is £20,000 for the school plus some great individual awards so fingers crossed!

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