Norwich teen wins engineering award for eco-friendly tent

Lily-Mai with a prototypeImage source, Big Bang
Image caption,
Lily-Mai Spinks said she was inspired to create the design after seeing images of tents left behind at festivals

As Glastonbury Festival returns, a 17-year-old girl has won an engineering award for her "eco-friendly" cardboard tent design.

Lily-Mai Spinks, 17, from Norwich, Norfolk, came up with the idea after seeing the images of "a sea of tents" left behind after festivals.

Her waterproof design won the senior engineering award at the Big Bang Fair.

Lily-Mai said she hoped her "Isopod" creation would "reduce the impact" festivals have on the environment.

"Most traditional tents used at festivals get used once and people just tend to leave them there," she said.

"The plastic they're made of can take up to thousands of years to biodegrade, whereas cardboard can biodegrade quickly and can be recycled to make more Isopod tents."

Image source, Big Bang
Image caption,
The Isopod features a waterproof cardboard concertina design

Lily-Mai said she wanted to create "an alternative" to the plastic tent.

"What inspired me mainly was when you see on the news the scenes left after festivals," she said.

"It's just a sea of tents and the impact that's going to have on our environment has to be huge."

Image source, Big Bang
Image caption,
The teenager said she was hoping to approach festivals about her design

Lily-Mai said she came up with the design after folding paper in various ways until it created a "dome shape" she desired.

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers competition aims to recognise and reward young people's achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Organisers said Lily-Mai's design aimed to "provide a user and eco-friendly festival camping alternative".

Lily-Mai was presented with her award at the Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham on Wednesday.

Image source, Big Bang
Image caption,
Lily-Mai said young people were trying to create solutions for problems facing the environment

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