The Rotary Young Environmentalist Competition

The Rotary Young Environmentalist Competition is a new competition organised and promoted by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RotaryGBI).

There are three stages to the competition, each designed to support and encourage the development of environmental skills. Some stages may have more than one round.

Links:

Website
Information pack
Entry form

Aims and Objectives

The competition aims to encourage young people to:

  • interact with the environment
  • address serious environmental issues
  • develop and explore solutions to the issues
  • explore, investigate, research and undertake an environmental sustainability project

Who can take part?

The competition is open to all schools and college communities and those who are home educated, along with any other young peoples’ community organisations, for example, community RotaKids, community Interact, Scout Groups, Girl Guides.

There are three age groups:

Junior                       7 to 10 years old

Intermediate         11 to 13 years old

Senior                    14 to 17 years old

Entrants must not exceed the upper age parameter for each group on 31 August 2019.

With the age qualifying date of 31st August 2019, it should be noted that some junior entrants may be 11, intermediate entrants may be 14 and some senior entrants may be 18 at the time of some or all the stage competitions i.e. a competitor who may be 17 on 31st August but turns 18 on 1st September is allowed to enter. Competitors must include their age on the application form.

Students should enter the competition organised by the local Rotary club through their respective group, as detailed above.

Competitors, schools, colleges, and organisations may participate in competitions organised by a Rotary club or district outside of their geographical boundary but may compete in only one club/district event.

There are two categories in the competition;

  • Individual entry open to all categories, Junior, Intermediate and Senior.
  • Group entry (maximum of four participants) open to Junior and Intermediate categories only

The Three Stages of the Competition

Local Heats       

These are organised by local Rotary clubs between September and December. The winners of each age group are entered into a district competition.

Local Rotary Clubs can be found by using the club finder facility in the top left-hand corner of the Home Page of the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland website www.rotarygbi.org.

District Competitions

These are organised by Rotary between January and February. The winners of each age group are entered into the national final.

National Final

This is organised by Rotary. One entry per age group from each district may be submitted by Saturday, 28th March 2020 to the organiser – details to be confirmed.

The dates for local heats and district competitions will be determined locally. Entrants should check dates with their local Rotary club in the first instance.

Competition Guidelines

Purpose
To engage young people to interact with the environment, address serious issues, and develop and explore solutions to the problems.

Objectives
To encourage young people to explore, investigate, research and undertake an environmental sustainability project on the theme of Waste Minimisation.

To select a topic with this theme. Topics could include recycling, plastic pollution, litter abatement, micro-plastic contamination, reduction in the need for, and reuse of materials, issues where other criteria are paramount such as sterilisation needs in medical applications, etc.

The project undertaken should raise awareness to a particular problem within the given topic area and inspire action to respond to the growing awareness of the problem.

For instance, actions in response to the growing awareness of plastic pollution in the environment would come from understanding the properties of plastics and why they are so widely used, and in the way in which they create problems for wildlife and humans. The response would also include ways to control the problem by exploring solutions.

Task
Select a topic and undertake some research and exploration into the current magnitude of the problem. They may work on projects on their own or as part of a group of not more than 4 people.

Decide and develop their own ideas while undertaking the project and offering solutions.

The project could be approached from different angles and perspectives.

Projects could also seek methods by which existing solutions can be implemented. Possible projects could include one or more topics such as:

  • Recycling isn’t a panacea (identify ways to reduce or reuse)
  • Reducing the amount of raw material consumed
  • Developing new up-cycled products from recyclates
  • Turning waste into useful objects
  • Tackling the problems associated with Fast Fashion
  • Exploring innovative ways of using plastic
  • Benchmarking the magnitude of problem in local area (e.g. how much waste is generated in the home, school, or community)
  • Analysing secondary statistical data on waste from Official Publications
  • Obtaining photographic evidence of litter in the environment.

These are just some ideas; students are encouraged to develop their own projects within the general theme of Waste Minimisation.

Students in the older age group are encouraged to explore and develop new concepts other than those regularly reported in the popular press.

Outcomes

Young people should engage with the Environment and identify current issues.

Projects should be eye catching, present a balanced viewpoint exhibiting understanding of the environmental problem, and showcase a solution or suggest an innovative new idea for solving the environmental issue.