News stories

Danger! Toxic Popcorn at Walton High School

May 17, 2023

Next Engineers returned to Walton High School to ask the students to save their city from the threat of toxic popcorn by designing, building and testing a system to remove it to be decontaminated before it could explode.

Ben explaining the challenge

After listening to the brief, the students set about designing their systems and investigating their resources. It was great to see so many different ideas bouncing around within the same challenge and the students were imaginative in their use of the simple resources available. All students became involved in their different ways – some dove into the resources and began to experiment with them, while others took a good deal of care on designing a solution meticulously.

Students preparing their designs

Our volunteer Vijeta from GE supported the students throughout the process, offering encouragement where needed. She said:

“Volunteering for this Next Engineers event was a really amazing experience. The best part is to see young students getting excited about the engineering process and being enthusiastic to solve the problem given using engineering design process. I would love to be a part of more events and encourage more students to get into engineering as they are our future.”

It was amazing to see the focus and attention of the students when the time came to test their solutions and save the city and the teachers were thrilled to see their involvement. Two of the groups managed to complete the challenge in the time allowed, so the city of Stafford is saved and lives to see another day!

The final test