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What is rubbish science?

Rubbish Science is a very simple concept to try to make the world a  better place. We need more creative problem solving  thinkers in the world and less rubbish/garbage. If we use discarded rubbish to build things that solve problems and then test them scientifically we can achieve both of these aims.

Some Real World problems:

  • Zika Virus/Dengue Fever/Malaria – Can we use a discarded plastic bottle to make a mosquito trap?
  • Waterborne diseases – Can we use a plastic bottle and sunlight to sterilise water?
  • Drought induced famine – Can we use plastic bottles to produce a water efficient hydroponics system?
  • Water salinity – Can we use plastic bottles to make distilled water?
  • Microplastics in the water supply – Can we reduce this?

The answer to all of these questions is yes we can, but no one knows the exact ‘best’ method to use. They are all multiple variable problems that can lead to very rich thinking. These problems  build on the same rigorous scientific method taught in science classrooms, but go way beyond the simple algorithmic tasks where we already know the outcome. They also use the idea of Low Threshold High Ceiling – Everyone can create something that works, but no one is limited by the task.  We are unlikely to solve any of the problems outright just with plastic bottles or other freely sourced equipment. Rubbish Science uses the idea of marginal gains – Lots of people doing small things adds up to a large scale change. What is created is important, but we are less concerned with the outcome than the process. What has been learned in trying to solve these problems and how can these skills be transferred to other areas of life. It aims to empower people to shape their own environment. Please join us.

Developing scientific literacy

Scientific literacy is a transferable skill that involves looking for evidence to inform decisions. We focus on simple experiments with real outcomes that usually involve multiple variables.

Reusing rubbish

Ideally there should be no rubbish in the World, but the reality is that plastic refuse is everywhere. The aim is to create something useful whilst removing rubbish and increasing environmental awareness.

Developing communities

All communities have a culture of innovation, but often lack a systematic and scientific approach. By collaborating on real problems, we aim to empower communities to shape their own future .

Our projects