Rolls Royce Schools Prize For Science and Technology

We are over the moon to announce that out of over 1000 entries, we are one of only 6 finalists for the 2019/2020 Rolls Royce Schools Prize for Science and Technology.

Over the course of the year we will be posting diary entries, photos and video blogs about our exciting journey. By the end of the academic year we hope to have a structure built from eco-bricks in which we will be showcasing different year group’s STEM work each half term- we are so excited and love the fact that every child will be involved with support from Rolls Royce engineers.

Our main aim is to educate our local community- we want people to stop throwing rubbish around our local area and also to use more reusable materials- we think we can do it!

July 2019

During the summer pupils were asked to research aspects of recycling and make a model to show what they had learnt.

These are a few of our homework heroes – a recycling centre made from recyclable materials with an explanation of how it works and a marine scape depicting the marine animals who have been affected by the effects of rubbish being dumped in the sea, made out of the very materials which are harming them- amazing projects and a great start to our journey!


September 2019

We have also started collecting the plastic rubbish we hope to recycle into eco-bricks.


October 2019

Different year groups are taking part in workshops about recycling to make sure our pupils understand it’s importance before we engage on our project.

We have also started a STEM after school club where our STEM experts have been investigating structures- they will advise us later on in our project!

Hello from Boothroyd Science Club!

This half term our focus has been on starting an investigation into our STEM project, our school aims to build an extension using eco-bricks and we decided to find the best way to get the job done!

The first part of our investigation seemed pretty easy at first, we needed to find out what eco-bricks are and how to go about making them. We found a really interesting and easy to follow video online that helped with our general understanding but we ended up being left with more questions than when we started!

So, what are eco-bricks?

Adam: It’s a plastic bottle full of plastic, little bits on the inside, and you can build things with them like tables of proper houses.

Aliza: You need to make sure it’s really full or the gaps inside could make your walls droopy.

Why are they called eco-bricks?

Kiyann: Because they’re made out of plastic bottles and rubbish so they’re recycled and it means we’ve taken rubbish out of the environment.

Hassan: You can put different wrappers and coloured plastic in them to make them look nice and use more rubbish.

What can we do at science club to help the project?

Alishba: We can think about how to make the bricks, the video we watched said using the same size bottles was important so we can tell them that.

Issa: We counted up a lot of the bottles and sorted them, we have lots of little milk bottles and some Lucozade bottles and stuff.

Our questions about eco bricks

How are we going to make the plastic small enough to fit in the bottles?

How long will it take to fill a bottle?

What type of bottle should we use?

How many are we going to need?

How much rubbish will we need to fill them all?

Will we have to cut the plastic with scissors?

Our investigation so far

We took a small sample of the plastic bottles our school has collected and sorted them into type and size. We found that the most common type of bottle is 500ml milk bottles and the least common was hot chocolate tubs because we only had one of those in our sample.


Lucozade 6
Actimel 10
Milk Carton 500ml 12
Milk carton 2 pints 5
Milk Carton 4 pints 6
Cola Bottles 500 ml 2
Jelly cups 2
Plastic cups 4
Squash 1.5 Litre 1
Rubicon 250 ml 1
Tropicana 250 ml 1
Water bottles 500 ml 8
Milk Carton 6 pints 3
Hot chocolate tub 1

Based on our tally we think we should build our extension out of 500 ml water bottles or 500 ml milk cartons, we don’t think we could build our extension with actimel bottles because they are too small.

Next week we start our Shredder investigation and we think we’ll be able to figure out how much plastic we need to fill our chosen bottles and discover just how much plastic is needed to make one eco brick.

We’ll keep you guys updated with our progress. Miss Kimmings & the science club team.

What’s happening through the school?

Our STEM teaching units are well underway now with every year group investigating a different area of recycling and building involving plastics.

Year 1 have been busy exploring the properties of plastic through hands on scientific work, sorting and testing the properties of plastic so we know more about it.

Year 2 have been investigating the recycling we do in the school and looking at different wats to sort our own rubbish.

Year 3 have been investigating structures ready to design our ecobrick building. We have carried out fair tests of different materials for roofing (waterproof or not) and insulation because we want our building to keep us warm.

Year 4 and our community leaders have been out and about in the local area- we collected 14 bags of rubbish from our local park! Now we are working on producing data about what we found so we can feedback to the local community and come up with a plan to tackle community waste more effectively.

Year 5 are investigating plastic packaging, why we use it and thinking about what alternatives there could be for the future. Hopefully some of our local retailers will take a look at our findings!

Year 6 are really looking at the global problem of plastic and the damage it is causing, trying to become more aware of what can be done as a wider community to help.

Update January 2020:

Wow! We have had such a busy half term across the whole school exploring our ‘Re-use it or lose it’ teaching block! We have become real experts on the issue of plastic waste and why it is important! We are beginning to come up with some solutions about how to tackle our own plastic waste also. We now know that it is really important to use alternative materials, but we also want to find a way to use the plastic we already have made before it ends up damaging the environment further.


We have been investigating floating and sinking, using plastic we have collected to make boats with and then seeing how many people can float in the boats. Look how amazing they are! We loved re-using things we would normally have thrown away to play with, explore and learn.

Year 1

Year 1 have been investigating the properties of plastic and looking at the life cycle of plastic! We found out that plastic doesn’t rot away like other materials which is why it is a big problem for the world today. We’ve also had a go at some hands-on experiments using plastic. Did you know that you can stab a pencil through a plastic bag filled with water and no water will come out? Plastic definitely has some interesting properties!

 Year 3

Year 3 have been exploring ecobricks and how we can build from them. We have carried out lots of metacognition work to help us link our thinking together. We are very excited to carry out further work on our plastic project and are having a go at being architects, thinking about structural design for our future build. Next we are going to build some prototype models to present to the STEM team at our school to see which one we can use in the build!

Science club

We’ve had a go at making our eco bricks and shredding lots of plastic. We’ve got a lot to tell you! We managed to get a lot of plastic cut though and we worked in teams to find the best way to make the bricks.

We used:

500 ml milk cartons

Red plastic carrier bags

Water bottles

Paint brushes

We cut the tops off the water bottles because the plastic at that bit is too thick for the shredder but we still managed to use them, we turned them into funnels to help us get the plastic in. We used the paint brushes to make sure the plastic was all packed in there and squeezed our bottles to make sure they were firm for building.