EarthEcho International, the global nonprofit dedicated to building a youth movement to protect and restore our planet, has proudly announced the three pupil-led teams selected as the winners of the OurEcho Challenge, which is supported by Aramco Europe.
The winning teams, from Rochdale, Reading and Rochester were part a STEM competition designed to engage young problem solvers in protecting the diversity of species and ecosystems that make life on earth possible. This is the first year the OurEcho Challenge was available to enter for UK students.
The OurEcho Challenge encourages UK students, guided by a teacher or mentor, to take a closer look at biodiversity in their communities by identifying threats to local ecosystems and proposing solutions to preserve, protect or repair those natural resources.
Each team showed enthusiasm. The winning team from Falinge Park High School in Rochdale, Lancashire got a £5,000 grant to increase the amount of sphagnum moss in their local peat bogs to make a positive impact on biodiversity and air quality. Second place with a £2,500 grant went to a team from Reading School in Reading, Berkshire. This team is designing an eco-friendly garbage truck that runs on solar panels and biofuel. The truck design is outfitted with a collection system that will separate land-fill waste from compostable waste, which can be used as biofuel. This team also took home the People’s Choice Award. And a team from the Thomas Aveling School in Rochester, Kent came in third. They received a £1,000 grant to work on their plans to create safe-haven habitats in marshlands and fields to protect animals such as hedgehogs, squirrels, and insects from human disturbance, focusing on education.