Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) is a registered charity which inspires and educates young people from all backgrounds through a range of enterprise and entrepreneurship programmes.
Last year they launched the Circular Economy Challenge, supported by the Scottish Power Foundation, through a six-week pilot programme working with primary schools across Glasgow. The challenge introduced students in 30 primaries to the benefits and principles of the circular economy through case studies and working with business ambassadors.
Since then, YES have worked in partnership with Veolia and local DYW teams to deliver the challenge to schools in Leith, Edinburgh and West Lothian.
This term the charity is again working with the team at DYW Edinburgh, Midlothian & East Lothian to geographically spread the challenge and upskill more teachers and pupils on the circular economy. This time round, primary schools in the Ross High School cluster in East Lothian have the chance to use their enterprising young minds to create a zero waste world for the future.
The programme is being followed by pupils in P4, P5, P6 and P7 and is an exciting way for them to develop their enterprising skills, while also thinking about a more sustainable world.
Pupils design a 'circular' product or service where everything has value, and nothing is wasted. They are then given the opportunity to present their ideas to a judging panel of experts.
Pupils had a virtual tour filmed at the charity’s Rouken Glen Park site; the video introduced them to the ideas behind the Circular Economy. YES have several projects and Social Enterprises on site where the pupils could see the Circular Economy in action in real life.
The pupils are now following a six week, in-school programme where they set up their own company, create a product or service and then pitch their idea to real life businesses at a Dragons’ Den style event with the other participating schools.
The opportunity to work alongside real-life businesses who support the circular economy model is a vital part to the challenge.
The key feedback from those who have been involved in the challenge to date is that pupils have developed enterprising and employablity skills which will be of use to them in the future, no matter what path they take. Primary 7 pupils have been keen share their learning;
"I enjoyed the circular economy project because it enabled me to be creative and realise that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. It allows you and your friends to plan things together and each of your small ideas becomes one big idea."
"..It has inspired me to pursue my group’s idea when I am older. I think there is space for a bin that tells you when you are putting the correct rubbish in or not. I'm going to make this a reality."
If you are keen to be involved as the project grows please do let the DYW team know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marie Leck, Young Enterprise Scotland
Senior Programme Executive – School Programmes
Young Enterprise Scotland
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