Aristide Boileau, a Year 4 student from Colégio Internacional de Vilamoura (CIV), was distinguished by the National Geographic Learning Team in the "Think Like a Plastic Detective" competition (part of Project Exploration 2.0) with his project for a water purification machine, created from recyclable materials.
This innovative proposal to improve the world we live in was submitted as a video presentation, and featured the student's eloquent description of the methodology, processes, and explanation of his project. His design, achieved by recycling PET bottles, allowed Aristide to create fresh water from seawater. The project thus earned the praise of the National Geographic Learning Team, which awarded the student 5th place among all the works presented worldwide.
The enthusiasm and excitement generated by this competition, with the aim of awakening students’ minds to the impact of plastic in the world and in space, also inspired Matilde Sequeira, who created a mobile dreamcatcher to represent the effect of plastic on sea creatures, as well as Henrique Lin, who designed a raft to transport small toys. Both entries, which were featured on the National Geographic Learning website, were commended "for their excellent content and understanding of the subject."
The interest in personal research was stimulated following an online distance learning session with National Geographic in March. In recognition of the Year 4 competition entries, the school was provided with several prizes for the students involved, as well as participation certificates for the whole class. These were presented at a class assembly by their teacher, Alison Stedman.
Year 4 has continued to embrace the challenges of the National Geographic Learning Team and joined the "Become an Animal Superhero" investigation. In this, the class learned about ecosystems, habitats, tracking systems and food supply chains, as well as the declining numbers of certain bird species around the world. The introduction to this project was once again accessed through a live online session attended by 100 classes from schools around the world, giving students the chance to virtually meet leading experts who specialise in species conservation, and learn more about their research. The students now have the opportunity to continue to explore this subject matter by completing a summer project about endangered species.
CIV has future plans to nurture this inspiring partnership with National Geographic Leaning that has created so much enthusiasm in the school’s 'little scientists'.