Two British Synchronised swimmers performed their World Championship routine in a swimming pool full of plastic to highlight the way that young scientists and engineers are using their STEM skills to address the impact of plastic on marine life.
It was designed to promote the free to attend Big Bang Fair on March 16 in Birmingham, which will showcase innovative ideas that help environmental issues, including an idea for an ‘edible’ water bottle that could replace single-use plastic drinking bottles completely.
Each year The Big Bang Fair recognises the UK Young Scientist and UK Young Engineer of The Year at the country’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
The Big Bang Fair set the swimmers the challenge, and it was no surprise that the young pair, Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe, struggled to properly perform their routine in a training pool littered with thousands of items of floating plastic.
Kate Shortman said: ‘I am very inspired by the finalists of The Big Bang Competition who have developed new and innovative ways to tackle the plastics epidemic head-on.
‘There’s no doubt that plastic in our oceans is already a huge issue, with consequences on future generation’s daily lives unless we do something about it, so it’s fantastic that young people are encouraging people to take responsibility and change their behaviour towards plastics.’
Beth Elgood, director of communications at EngineeringUK, added: ‘Every year Big Bang Competition finalists use their STEM skills to tackle a whole range of issues – from the very local to the global – and this year is no exception.
‘With projects ranging from designing an energy saving kettle, to improving recycling at school, to finding ways to prevent plastic entering our oceans, making a difference to the world around them has obviously been a driving factor behind many of the innovations entered in The Big Bang Competition this year.’
Watch a video of the swim below.