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Newton Abbot scientists win recycling award for eco-ambassador initiative

April 12, 2019 | News

Young scientists from Newton Abbot’s pioneering secondary school, South Devon University Technical College (UTC), have been presented with a Recycle Devon Award after launching an eco-ambassador project.

Founded by scientists Fyn Hayes (17) and Luke Dawson (18), the eco-ambassador project has initiated a range of practical solutions since its launch in 2018, set to improve the college’s environmental footprint.

Nominated by the Devon community, the eco-ambassador group saw success in the School / Educational Establishment Recycling Hero category at the Recycle Devon Thank You Awards 2019. Now in its sixth year, the awards are designed to celebrate the efforts of unsung recycling heroes who have helped the county remain one of the greenest in the UK.

During the first term, the group took part in a beach clean in association with the “Beach Care” initiative. Their work to clean the beaches at Dawlish Warren contributed to one of the 1,121 beaches cleaned and 158 tonnes removed from beaches in the South West. The eco-ambassador group has also encouraged the school to switch its materials used in the canteen, such as plastic cutlery and plates, to more sustainable alternatives. Students around the college have also been encouraged to recycle food packaging such as crisp packets, inspiring young people to think about what they are sending to landfill and what they can recycle.

With the support of the community behind them, the eco-ambassadors are motivated to push forward plans to use the college planters to source materials for use in A Level and GCSE Biology classes. Onion skins, algal balls and banana fibres are just some of the resources that will be grown for use in laboratory experiments.

Claire Plumb, Principal at South Devon UTC, commented:

“We are extremely proud of our eco-ambassadors for taking something they are truly passionate about and turning it into an award-winning scheme. We are always looking for ways to improve our environmental footprint as a school and with the support of the community behind us, we are determined to continue putting exciting, innovative plans in motion.”

The pioneering College on Kingsteignton Road, with its state-of-the-art facilities, offers an innovative model of learning for students that provides professional academic and technical education aimed to ‘develop a new generation of engineers, scientists and environmentalists’. Unlike many other colleges, South Devon UTC has a higher proportion of their students studying triple science compared to the national average.

South Devon UTC is currently recruiting students for the 2019/20 academic year. Young people with a flair for science and engineering due to start Year 10 or Year 12 in September 2019 are invited to the next Open Evening on Wednesday 5th June 2019, 5-7pm. Alternatively, you can contact the college for more information. Call 01626 240201