PACA Conservationists, a team of Year 8 students supported by Head of STEM Miss Thandi Banda, have been shortlisted for the finals in the 2019 International STEM Youth Innovation Competition run by the British International Education Association.
Hector Steele, Louie Bridgeman-Rivett and Isaac Matthews have designed a drone that can track crocodiles in the wild to help conservation efforts. A number of crocodile species are on the endangered list, including the The Philippine crocodile which, the students’ research uncovered, is one of two species of crocodile in the Philippines with less than 200 alive in the wild. Crocodiles are sought after for their skin and meat which leads to them becoming endangered. They are vital organisms in an ecosystem and their preservation is important to maintain biodiversity.
The PACA team are one of just 45 teams globally to be shortlisted, and face competition from schools in China, Mexico, USA, Kenya, Nigeria, Australia, Bosnia Herzegovina and the UAE. The team are currently making the drone and preparing for the next round of the challenge, which will be in London in July.
The competition organisers wrote to Miss Banda to say: “We were extremely impressed with the high quality of all of the entries this year, as well as the creativity and ingenuity of your ideas.”
The Live International Finals will be held on 4th July 2019, at the London Royal Air Force Museum and finalists will have the chance to compete for the £5,000 grand prize.