Two Year 8 teams become National Finalists in the Solutions for the Planet: Big Ideas Programme!

Blog Header Image Celebrating Success
Posted on 25th Jun 2021

We couldn’t believe it when we heard that not one but two Year 8 teams from Stratford School Academy had become national finalists in the Solutions for the Planet: Big Ideas Programme! Our students and their fantastic ideas were selected out of 90 teams from across the UK. 

This is a huge feat for our Year 8 teams who have worked extremely hard over the course of three lockdowns and a disrupted school year. The students have shown great commitment, resilience, and creativity in the face of adversity and for that they are all winners in our eyes.

This year’s teams worked on some incredible big ideas to help save our planet, but it was the big ideas from Team JEHT and Team Planet Savers which took the teams all the way to the national final. 


Students: Erika B, Hinal H and Jaspal S

A product which takes in plastic and melts it using solar power. The plastic turns back into crude oil and is used as car fuel. The fumes from this process are trapped and condensed in a tube and turned back into water. The water is then filtered, titrated, and crystallised to clean it. This water then becomes drinkable, and the chemicals are used for science experiments in schools.

Team Planet Savers

Students: Matey M, Mahdya N & Manisa B

Big Idea: Our Big Idea is to have magnetic plastic. Static is the only magnetic-like action that is present in plastics, but if magnetic friendly materials are added during the plastic extrusion and moulding processes, plastic can be magnetized or at least, have magnetic characteristics. We have chosen plastic bottles as our first product because getgreennow has stated that ‘Plastic bottles are currently the 5th most commonly found trash item at coastline cleanups.

The award-winning Big Ideas Programme run by Solutions for the Planet is an annual enrichment programme for students aged 11-14 years old. Teams of students learn about sustainability and how science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills and careers can help solve sustainability issues. The teams then enter the Big Ideas Competition and develop their solutions to compete with other teams from schools across the UK. If the teams get through the Regional Finals, which are held at universities local to their school, they then present their idea at the National Final that usually takes place at the Palace of Westminster and is hosted by a cross-party group of MPs. This year the National Finals were live streamed via Zoom to ensure that the competition remained Covid-19 secure.

The Big Ideas Programme promotes the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and supports the Government-adopted Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance.

Stratford School Academy first took part in the Solutions for the Planet: Big Ideas Programme in 2016, we believe that the programme offers our students an incredible opportunity to develop their confidence, ideas, skills and knowledge around STEM, sustainability, and entrepreneurship.

Ms Mehta said, ‘We are so proud of all our Year 8 teams who have taken part in the Solutions for the Planet: Big Ideas Programme from December 2020! During a global pandemic, our selected teams have put an incredible amount of effort into curating and refining their ‘Big Ideas’ remotely and after school. Their placement in the competition this far just goes to show that hard work pays off’.