What's happening

13 Feb 2017

Design School CLEVER project STEM toolkit outreach workshop at Gartree High School

Developed by Dr Debra Lilley and Dr Garrath Wilson as part of the CLEVER project, the CORE STEM Workshops programme created a STEM toolkit that looks at how we can reduce electronic waste from mobile phones and their impact on the environment. The toolkit was used in an interactive workshop to inspire school students.

On Thursday, 9th February, Loughborough University Staff visited Gartree High School in Oadby, Leicestershire, and explored the issues surrounding the design and impact of mobile phones, using a CLEVER project (Closed Loop Emotionally Valuable E-waste Recovery) toolkit developed as part of the CORE STEM Workshops programme. The interactive workshops are held in secondary schools across the UK with the purpose of engaging schoolchildren with STEM subjects (Science, Technology Engineering and Maths).

The project works in partnership with the Leicestershire Education Business Company (LEBC) to tailor the experience and learning objectives with the national curriculum, providing secondary school students with an innovative way of interacting with Science and Technology, aiming to inspire students and spark their interest in studying STEM at GCSE, A-Level and Higher Education.

Over 300 students took part in the interactive workshop, dubbed the ‘CleverDay’, which was hailed as a great success, encouraging students to think differently about science and technology, and to take a new and creative approach to solving the leading problems of the times. 

Dr Garrath Wilson said of the day, “We wanted to create a series of outreach activities based on academic research that could excite and inspire local communities.  That’s why we are happy to see Gartree High School so fully embracing of the STEM resources that we developed.  Maybe we can play some part in inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers, but hopefully we can get everybody engaged and thinking a little more about the world in which they live…” 

Loughborough Design School’s team working on the CLEVER project focussed on emotional attachment. They looked at designing mobile phones to last longer, and age well (much like leather products) so that people are willing to keep them for longer periods of time. At the moment, mobile phones have a shorter lifespan and as a result, many end up in landfills. The CLEVER project looks to not only prevent the waste of valuable materials in smartphones, but also to reduce the negative global social impact in their disposal.

You can find out more about CLEVER or contact Dr. Debra Lilley and Dr. Garrath Wilson for more information about this or any of their other research.