Tarmac has congratulated the young winners of the Solutions for the Planet (S4TP) Virtual Big Ideas Competition 2020 following its first virtual national final, which saw students from schools across the country present new sustainability initiatives to an online judging panel.
As the scheme’s national partner, employees from Tarmac delivered online mentoring to participating 11-14 year olds, highlighting the importance of sustainability and raising awareness of career opportunities within the construction sector.
Dr Martyn Kenny, Tarmac’s sustainability director and a member of the judging panel, said: “We’re extremely proud supporters of the Big Ideas programme. Working virtually is something many people have had to adapt to this year and the S4TP team have done a brilliant job in transitioning this really valuable programme online, successfully bringing together students and mentors to tackle real-world sustainability issues and delivering a really enjoyable celebration of achievements in the virtual final.
“The creativity and enthusiasm from everyone involved has been incredible, particularly in a year with so many challenges. We’d like to congratulate the winners and all the finalists on their achievements, as well as thank all of the thousands of students and many mentors who took part.”
Each of the twelve teams that progressed to the S4TP national final through regional rounds has spent the past year developing a creative Big Idea to address a specific environmental, social or economic sustainability problem.
Jen Baughan, CEO, Solutions for the Planet, said: “The Big Ideas programme has given over 3,900 young people opportunities to imagine and innovate entrepreneurial solutions to challenging sustainability issues with the help of their mentors. In doing so, they explore STEM subjects with independent learning and their own creative and critical thinking too.
“The confidence that the young people have developed and their belief and passion in their ideas is inspirational. Their dedication and commitment, and that of their teachers and mentors from Tarmac and our other partner organisations is phenomenal. The students have shown incredible resilience this year working through lockdown, outstanding entrepreneurship, teamwork and creativity, all skills that they will carry with them into their future careers.”
Solutions for the Planet is a social enterprise, working with businesses, schools and communities to promote Education for Sustainable Development, social enterprise, and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers for young people. It is supported throughout the programme by its national partner Tarmac along with IGEM, SGN, Mears Group and Northern Gas Networks.