Students from Cherry Hinton Primary School and Stapleford Community Primary School joined Amey Cespa for two project days at their Education Centre in Waterbeach, where they learned about what happens to their recycling and rubbish after they put it in the bin.
For many students, throwing away waste and recycling is something they do every day, but many of them had never thought about what happens after the bin is emptied, and the impact this has on the environment.
At the latest Cambridge LaunchPad project day, Waste Education Manager Jonathan Crisp led students through a day of hands-on activities at Amey, helping them think about how to recycle more effectively and the career paths available in waste management.
Activities on the day included learning about decomposition, sorting rubbish into blue, green and black bins, and making recycled newspaper pots for onion bulbs using compost made on-site.
After finding out how waste is sorted, students visited the landfill site – an area many didn’t know existed at the start of the day.
Jonathan Crisp, Waste Education Manager, said:
“I think site visits like these are great as the students were able to see for themselves the work involved in recycling as well as the landfill used when the recycling is not done correctly. We can influence them at the early stages – they are the prime audience.”
The students’ new knowledge was put to the test when they were challenged to see if they could improve how they handle their recycling and rubbish.
During the day, students worked in small groups and were encouraged to develop skills they will need throughout their lives such as communication, teamwork and problem solving.
By working with their classmates and the Cambridge LaunchPad ambassadors, students improve their ability to work with people of different ages, backgrounds and job roles.
At the end of the day, the five students who best displayed their understanding of these values were invited to attend the annual LaunchPad award ceremony.
Mrs Cooper, Year 5 Teacher from Stapleford Community Primary School, said:
“Today has allowed students to see STEM occupations in action. I think it is really interesting to see the students after their lunch, wondering which bin they need to use for their rubbish. Seeing what happens to their rubbish is really impactful.”
Cécile Freby, Events Coordinator at Form the Future, said:
I was very impressed to see how quickly the students took on board what they had learnt. Within a few hours, they became extremely conscious about our world and the importance of recycling. I was fascinated to see how they decided to recycle their rubbish in the right bin after their lunch and how good they felt about themselves for doing it. The message has clearly been understood!”