Pupils’ winning vision for future high street

Carnousite High School has come top in a competition against other North east schools to design the high street of the future.
The Carnoustie High School pupils are pictured with their winning design concept.The Carnoustie High School pupils are pictured with their winning design concept.
The Carnoustie High School pupils are pictured with their winning design concept.

The school’s team, Carnoustie Carbon Initiative, impressed the judges of TechFest’s Blueprint Challenge: A Future High Street project with their inspirational, eco-friendly high street which would remove cars, with residents travelling underground via a tram system powered by wind and wave energy.

At ground level, cycle, skate and walking paths feature, offering serene plant-covered walls, an orchard and oak trees. The high street would also house a sensory garden and an eco-dome where residents can grow their own produce. And in a bid to capture the increasing volume of rainfall, an advanced drainage system gathers and re-uses rainwater from the permeable pavements.

The brief tasked pupils with bringing energy, technology and nature together to create future net zero urban areas using innovative technology to imagine a high street where buying your favourite products leads to more nature, not less. The students created diverse teams showcasing different skill sets such as engineering, architecture and art and design.

Supported by Bluewater - the London based private equity firm specialising in global energy - S5 and S6 students across Dundee, Moray, the Highlands and the North-east were invited to redesign their high street as part of the project before presenting their solutions to a panel of experts during the live final.

The winner was revealed recently during an online ceremony.

Considerations such as how high streets will be powered are essential to the energy mix of future towns and cities and played an important role in the project.

Dr Kirsty Mustard, principal teacher raising achievement/teacher of biology, said: “We are extremely proud of our TechFest team. They approached the task with great enthusiasm and demonstrated amazing commitment, teamwork and dedication.

"They worked extremely hard and made excellent use of the range of skills within the group. The task brought great insight into the high street challenges currently being faced and brought real meaning and relevance to their learning.”

Sarah Chew, TechFest managing director said: “The designs were so inspirational and choosing a winner was extremely difficult for the judges. The students took the brief and really used their imagination to offer some fantastic ideas and solutions. As we move towards a more sustainable future, preserving the high street and equipping it for future generations is a fundamental part of securing our towns and cities for growth and expansion.”

TechFest is an Aberdeen-based charity which aims to engage young people in the four main STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and encourage them to go on to follow a career which uses these skills by demonstrating that they are both fun and relevant in day-to-day life.

Each year it runs the highly popular TechFest festival which attracts tens of thousands of children and adults to a series of STEM-based events in and around Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, as well as a year-round programme of educational events for schools and young people.

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