Bahama girls present gift to raise awareness on climate change in the region to William and Kate with help from UK teens

At the final destination of William and Kate’s first official Caribbean tour, a team of girls from the Bahamas hope their gift of a family picnic blanket made with recycled crisp packaging will help shine a spotlight on the need for STEM education for young people and the climate crisis in the local region to a global audience.

The girls are all budding innovators from the FEM STEM Club in the Bahamas, taking part in the BIEA 2022-23 STEM Competition on Sustainable Cities. The making of the picnic blanket was a truly international collaboration. Team Quadrofolium made up of four teenage girls from Greater London (Eltham College) and Kent (Tonbridge Grammar School, Sackville School) jumped on the invitation to collaborate. The UK girls originally made a picnic blanket with recycled crisp bags for their BIEA 2021 STEM Competition entry. They shared ideas of their creation and how-to virtually. For the new royal gift, the Bahamas girls adapted the design using plastic waste collected from the coastal shorelines, recycling centres and local sustainable fabrics. The final result was a stunning piece of artwork that’s also incredibly functional and carries the voice of young people.

The gift was presented to First Lady Ann Marie Davis of the Bahamas who was impressed by these young’s creativity, commended their passion for STEM and action to mitigate the climate crisis.

“Young people didn’t create the climate problem, but they are the ones who have to live with it. We need to do everything we can to help them build up the skills and mindset to deal with the future. And through collaboration like these, we are doing something right.” Said Dr Alex Holmes, Head of STEM at BIEA.

Tyrhonda Glinton, Founder of FEM STEM Bahamas echoed the sentiment, “We need our youngsters to have the right skills and knowledge to prepare for an uncertain future, and the international experience plays an important part in that development.”

Regardless of the final destination of the picnic blanket, this collaborative project has fostered an enduring friendship between the youth of the two countries, learning about each other’s living environment and working towards the same vision to make a difference to the planet we live on.