City student wins award with eco-friendly cardboard festival tent
- Credit: HROC PR Ltd
A 17-year-old Norwich student has won a national engineering award for her eco-friendly cardboard tent, designed for use at music festivals.
Lily-Mai Spinks, a year 12 pupil at Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form, was inspired to come up with the idea after seeing images of fields of tents left behind by revellers at major music events, like Glastonbury.
Her ISOPOD - a waterproof, folding tent made from cardboard - won the senior engineering award at the Big Bang Fair.
The design can biodegrade quickly or be recycled. By contrast, many tents left behind at festivals end up in landfill.
The issue has become an area of growing concern in recent years, with thousands of traditional tents - which are plastic-based and can take thousands of years to biodegrade - abandoned at the end of summer music events.
The teenager, who lives in Norwich, came up with her design after folding paper in various ways, until it created dome shape she was looking for.
The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers competition aims to recognise and reward young people's achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
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Lily-Mai won £750, as well as a trophy and certificate.
"I’m really proud to have won this award," she said.
"I would encourage people to enter the competition as I did just on the off chance maybe it might go somewhere and now I’m a winner.
"It’s a really good experience and I enjoyed the whole process – the judging and attending - it’s been really nice to speak to people who have that common interest of engineering and science."
Organisers said Lily-Mai's design aimed to "provide a user and eco-friendly festival camping alternative".
Lily-Mai was presented with her award at the Big Bang Fair, at Birmingham's NEC, last week.