March 6, 2019
By The Grace & Green Team
Four inspiring Felsted Prep School girls aged 11 and 12 are attempting to tackle the growing problem of plastic pollution in the oceans with a prize-winning project. The Sanitary Shark, created by Freya Perry, Grace Boroughs, Ava Readman and Anna White, has already gained national recognition for its thoughtful inventiveness.
A smart solution to sanitary waste
The contraption focuses on removing waste products from the sea, with a solar-powered motor, a net to collect waste, and a buzzer to deter sealife from coming too near.
The girls’ project led them to look at the impact of menstrual products specifically – they discovered that in some cases, a single pad contains the same amount of plastic as four plastic bags. In the UK, the average person who menstruates is estimated to use and throw away in excess of 10,000 period products in her lifetime.
Finding plastic-free alternatives
This research brought them to Grace and Green. Naturally, as champions of plastic-free menstrual products, we were keen to support the project further.
The girls presented the Sanitary Shark at the National Big Bang Fair in Birmingham and won the ‘on the day’ Talent 2030 Engineering Prize – the judges were particularly impressed with their research into hidden plastics in period products and their positive promotion of plastic-free alternatives.
Engaging girls with STEM subjects
“These pupils have really challenged themselves through these thought-provoking, real-world STEM projects,” says Christina Bury, Director of Learning and Teacher of Science at Felsted Prep. “Their passion, energy and enthusiasm to make a difference is inspiring.”
Joining the girls in Birmingham was Chella Quint: writer, researcher, performer and leading expert on menstruation education. Chella is the founder of #periodpositive, a campaign designed to spread period positivity through humour, joy and evidence-based learning activities.
We’d like to congratulate Freya, Grace, Anna and Ava for their hard work and ingenuity, and look forward to seeing where their creativity takes them in the future.