Press release

Schoolchildren travel in(to) the future for University competition

Published on 24 June 2021

Innovative designs for underwater travel, moon tours, floating vehicles powered by plastic, food waste and water, and even a self-flying solar-powered unicorn, are some of the many ideas submitted by schoolchildren for a University of Dundee competition

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Hundreds of primary and secondary school students have shared their ideas on how science, technology, engineering and maths could change the future of travel.

The University’s School of Science and Engineering, together with the Tayside and Fife branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers, hosted the annual STEM poster competition. The topic of this year’s competition was ‘Travel in(to) the Future’.

Over 300 pupils from 27 schools submitted their imaginative ideas for this year’s competition, the largest response to date.

Professor José Fiadeiro, Dean of the School of Science and Engineering, said, “I would like to thank teachers and parents who encouraged so many children to unleash their creativity and imagine what the future of travel could hold. It was amazing to see the innovative ideas presented from both primary and secondary school children and I very much look forward to the exciting future that they will help design.”

Jennifer (12) from Alyth Primary School, Blairgowrie, scooped first prize in the primary school category and Julia (14) from Holy Rood RC High School, Edinburgh, was awarded first prize in the secondary school category.

Jennifer’s ‘Road Bubble’ poster showcased a clear case that goes over roads, keeping the surrounding air clean from fumes and turning the carbon collected within into energy to power surrounding lights.

winning poster


Kristie Bailey, Jennifer’s teacher at Alyth Primary School, said, “The children in the class were all very excited about taking part in this competition, particularly as we have been doing quite a lot of science in school. This term we have been investigating renewable energy and have made wind turbines and solar ovens in class, so taking part in this ‘future’ stem design challenge was very topical for them.”

Julia’s winning idea ‘Travel into the Future’ shows a futuristic and energy efficient vehicle with built-in solar panels and fans that create wind energy. Her idea for the future sees roads and car wheels made from opposing magnets, with the magnetic force moving vehicles along.

seconary winner


Winners of the competition will receive Amazon vouchers, courtesy of the Tayside and Fife ICE branch.

Claire Higson, Chair of the Tayside and Fife ICE branch, said, "The Tayside and Fife Branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers is pleased to sponsor this competition and were impressed to see such a huge response from schools across Scotland. We have really enjoyed reviewing all the fantastic and imaginative ideas. It is exciting that this ambition and talent will be a part of our future STEM workforce."


Jessica Rorke

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 388878