Stem PlanIt
Green PlanIt Challenge

On Friday 30th November the ST Mary’s STEM Club took part in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Green PlanIt challenge final at the University of Salford. The challenge was to design a garden based on an area that is currently not being used around school. The team had 10 weeks to design, research and create a model of their garden and put a lot of time and effort into the competition. After looking around school for a suitable garden space the pupils chose the garden area around the back of the technology block. This area has a large space and would give the teams the chance to include multiple ideas into their design.

The STEM Club had help from garden mentor Tony Jones who is an ex St Mary’s pupil. Tony gave the team advise on plants and habitats to maximise their garden design. He also brought in some plants for the pupils to keep in the green house and plant out in spring.

On the day the pupils took part in some activities including making seed bombs and flying mini drones. In Indonesia drones have been used to drop seeds/seed bombs to help areas that have suffered from natural disasters and restore their natural habitats. The team also took part in an augmented reality treasure hunt answering questions about gardening. I’m pleased to say that we won the treasure hunt in record time!

The primary purpose of the day was for the students to present their garden ideas and they did a fantastic job. They were confident and spoke passionately about their design. Unfortunately we were not successful this year but as it was the first time the students had entered the competition they were undeterred. The feedback from the judges was very complimentary. One judge saying that the pupils presented better than some of her professional colleagues.

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the RHS and the University of Salford for hosting the event and Tony Jones for all his support throughout the process.

Mr Jones