An Alyth schoolgirl’s idea for a road bubble to trap vehicle fumes and create energy is among hundreds of futuristic travel concepts dreamed up by children.
Jennifer Smith, 11, illustrated her winning idea for a clear case which goes over roads to keep the surrounding air clean and collect carbon to power street lights for a Dundee University STEM poster competition.
Other innovative designs for how science, technology, engineering and maths could change the future of travel include an all-terrain copter featuring a fish tail for underwater propulsion and a solar-powered unicorn.
Jennifer was the primary schools winner and proud mum Gillian said: “She’s always coming up with ideas. It’s lovely to see her creativity being recognised.”
She and her P7 classmates at Alyth Primary School were among hundreds of primary and secondary school pupils to enter the competition.
Teacher Kristie Bailey, said: “The children in the class were all very excited about taking part in this competition, particularly as we have been doing quite a lot of science in school.
“This term we have been investigating renewable energy and have made wind turbines and solar ovens in class, so taking part in this future STEM design challenge was very topical for them.”
What are the other top ideas?
Secondary school winner Julia, 14, from Edinburgh, designed an energy efficient vehicle with built-in solar panels and fans that create wind energy.
Roads and car wheels would be made from opposing magnets, with the magnetic force moving vehicles along, if the Holy Rood RC High School pupil’s idea was brought to life.
Joshua, 10, Mosshead Primary School, came up with the all-terrain copter powered by sun and rainwater steam, with retractable blades, wheels and a fish tail for underwater.
Fellow Mosshead pupil Sylvia, 5, created the solar-powered unicorn while Shona, 10, of Invergowrie Primary School had lots of ideas, including flying skateboards and wind-powered airplanes.
It was amazing to see the innovative ideas presented from both primary and secondary school children.”
Professor José Fiadeiro, Dundee University
More than 300 pupils from 27 schools – the largest response to date – took part in the annual STEM poster competition hosted by the university’s School of Science and Engineering and the Tayside and Fife branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
School dean Professor José Fiadeiro said: “It was amazing to see the innovative ideas presented from both primary and secondary school children and I very much look forward to the exciting future that they will help design.”