Bournemouth pupils help come up with designs for Bio-Beach project


Pupils at two local schools have been helping Bournemouth University (BU) researchers come up with designs for structures to increase biodiversity on the town’s beaches.

Pupils at Avonbourne College and Harewood College have been working with BU staff and students on ideas for the Bio-Beach project, which aims to improve and increase the marine life along Bournemouth’s shoreline.

Bio-Beach is a collaboration between BU and Bournemouth Borough Council to place structures on groynes along the local coastline, which will provide refuge for marine life.

The creatures living within them will then be recorded by underwater cameras – giving insight into their habitat and behaviour.

Around 30 pupils from Years 7 – 9 have been working on ideas and prototypes for the project after school, supported by BU student ambassadors and the AspireBU outreach team.

They were given a brief by the BU Bio-Beach researchers to create durable structures that could retain water and provide shelter for marine life.

The pupils came up with designs inspired by everything from rubber ducks to scuba divers, which were made of sustainable and recycled materials including old rope and tires.

Fay Lyon, Science Teacher at Avonbourne College, said: “I think it has been brilliant. They have really loved it actually.

“I think it’s the fact that it’s real world application of science – it’s really useful. These are genuine problems that need to be solved and they can contribute something for that. They have the chance to make a real difference.”

After coming up with initial designs, the pupils had to create prototypes and test them – sandblasting and submerging them in saltwater to see how durable and suitable they would be for the harsh conditions on the beach.

They then shared their ideas with Bio-Beach researchers Dr Roger Herbert and Dr Bob Eves.

Dr Herbert, a Senior Lecturer in Coastal and Marine Biology at BU, said: “The brief was to develop some new designs and features which can encourage a whole range of different things for people to look at and enjoy, as well as increasing the biodiversity of the seashore.

“They worked really hard and have got all sorts of imaginative and interesting ideas.

“When we look at these sorts of problems, we see the obvious constraints but you can learn so much from younger people who don’t see those problems and that’s where their creativity really benefits us.”

Dr Eves, a Senior Lecturer in Product Design, added: “I think what has been great is the imagination and the ideas that they have come up with, because they are free-forming.

“The ideas are coming from children, which will then be enjoyed by other children on the beach.”

The pupils will use feedback from Dr Herbert and Dr Eves to continue working on their designs, with the best ideas and elements then selected for the final Bio-Beach structure.

Year 8 pupil Rebecca Harper was part of a group who created a design which used buckets and old tyres filled with recycled materials like bottle caps and ropes.

She said: “It’s been really fun designing these things and getting to create the prototypes.

“I’ve learnt a lot about the creatures that live on the beach and how to make and reuse things. It would be amazing to see our design on the beach.”

Find out more about the Bio-Beach project

Ideas of tomorrow displayed at Festival of Design and Innovation


A cake icing pen, a computer game controlled by brain power and a glamping pod were just some of the ground-breaking ideas and inventions on display at this year’s Festival of Design and Innovation (FODI).

The annual showcase of work by final year design and creative technology students at Bournemouth University ran for three days and was open to the public and industry, as well as pupils from schools and colleges who took part in special workshops.

More than 170 students from across courses including Product Design, Music and Audio Technology and Design Visualisation, showcased their designs, models and prototypes.

Among the work on show was a musical air hockey device, a lifting aid to transport heavy goods like washing machines easily and safely and an app to help school children learn their times tables.

Product Design student Coco Canessa has developed a precision cake icing dispenser, which is used like like a pen to prevent mess and waste while icing cakes.

“The idea initially was to relieve the pain and fatigue that people have to go through when they are doing it professionally.

“The more tired the arm gets, the less precise you are and the less control you have,” said Coco.

“Using this, you don’t have to get messy and the pressure is applied for you.”

Coco won the award for Most Commercially Innovative Product at the launch of FODI, where awards were given to students from each of the courses who have excelled.

“It felt brilliant to win the award – I was absolutely stunned and I’m so proud,” she said, adding that she had enjoyed exhibiting her work at FODI.

“It’s been great – lots of people have been asking for samples, and you learn what it’s like to present yourself and communicate your product.”

BA (Hons) Industrial Design student Maria Camila Fontalvo Delgado designed a glamping pod – a portable pod for people who want a luxury camping experience.

Maria who is from Columbia, has now been invited to display her idea at New Designers 2013, a London-based exhibition for emerging design talent.

“After lots of research I realised that glamping has been something that’s grown dramatically, but they still use the same types of accommodation, like tents and caravans,” said Maria.

“I wanted something that was very powerful visually so I made it like the metamorphosis of a butterfly, and it’s got a cooler, a sofa and a suspended hammock.

“I’ve had lots of interest and people saying they think it’s a real cool project.”

FODI is now in its 21st year, and attracted more than 1,000 visitors, including industry representatives and talent scouts.

Dr Bob Eves, Senior Lecturer in Industrial Product Design, said: “It gets the students going through the process and experiences of an exhibition and the opportunity of showing their work, which is great.

“There’s so much work that has gone into this and it’s really good to show the breadth of knowledge and experience that there is at BU.

“It just gets better every year.”

Find out more about FODI 2013 and the students’ projects