International kitchen appliance manufacturer, Whirlpool Corporation, hosted almost 60 students from Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Lincolnshire at its World of Whirlpool centre in Peterborough, for the official launch of Whirlpool Purposeful Innovation, a sustainability challenge which tasks secondary school students with re-designing a popular appliance to be more environmentally friendly.
During the launch event, competition participants had an unmissable opportunity to discover the inner workings of kitchen appliances and their environmental impact, through product demonstrations and deconstructions, provided by Whirlpool engineers and product designers. Students also learnt about key consumer motivations when it comes to kitchen appliances and sustainability, which will help them to design a product that is commercially viable and takes into consideration factors such as time, cost, functionality, space, aesthetics and convenience, as well as impact on the environment.
Now, equipped with all the knowledge they need to compete in Whirlpool Purposeful Innovation, over the next eight weeks students will work together in teams of five to redesign either a tumble dryer, washing machine or fridge-freezer and put together an entry, explaining how their product will work and look. The redesigned product must achieve one or more of the following objectives: be manufactured in a more environmentally friendly way; reduce energy and/or water consumption of the product; reduce consumer food waste.
The competition will culminate in a live final at Whirlpool’s Peterborough headquarters in June, where one winning team will receive a new kitchen appliance of choice for their school and each of the five team members’ homes. The winners will also get a behind the scenes tour of Whirlpool’s Yate factory, located in Bristol, which manufactures half a million tumble dryers for UK homes every year. The runners-up will also win a tour of Whirlpool’s Yate Factory and additional prizes will be awarded for a range of other skills demonstrated during the competition, such as teamwork, creativity, sustainable innovation and ingenuity.
Ian Moverley, Communications Director at Whirlpool Corporation, commented: “It was a pleasure to welcome so many enthusiastic students to our World of Whirlpool centre for the launch of Whirlpool Purposeful Innovation. Whirlpool’s mission is to improve life at home and this includes looking after our planet. While we are making great progress to achieving 2030 Net Zero targets across our global factories and headquarters, we want to ensure we are constantly evolving our products to support our customers with reducing their environmental footprint too. Young people are filled with creative and passionate ideas and we hope that through Whirlpool Purposeful Innovation we can help to inspire some of the sustainable innovations that will define the future of kitchen appliances.”
Schools and groups participating in the competition include:
• Nene Park Academy
• Greater Peterborough UTC
• North Cambridge Academy
• Sawtry Village Academy
• Stamford Welland Academy
• Sir Robert Pattinson Academy
• Bedford Academy
• Netherall School
• Walton Academy
• Cambourne Electronics & Robotics Club (CERC)