South London teens have the solution to air pollution – South London News

South London teens have the solution to air pollution – South London News
South London teens have the solution to air pollution – South London News

Students from four schools spread across Southwark and Lambeth were given the chance last week to provide their head teachers with solutions to combat rising air pollution.

During the day-long STEM workshop, the group of 22 9th graders – all 14 years old – built and coded their own aircraft. pollution monitor, collect and analyze the data and then create a policy based on the data.

The day’s activities concluded with a presentation to the school principals and the head of the school board.

“It was quite scary pitching to our head teachers, but also a really good experience – I think!” said Ali FitzGerald-Jones, a 14-year-old aspiring policy advisor from Charter School East Dulwich, where the event took place.

Policy solutions suggested by the students included planting shrubs along the curb to air pollution by car exhaust fumes, by moving playgrounds to places away from busy intersections and by charging tolls at schools on main roads.

Dominic Bergin, headmaster of Elmgreen Secondary School in Elmcourt Road, Norwood, said: “It was fantastic to see young people from different schools talking about the important topic of air pollution.

Students built and coded their own air pollution monitors (photo: (Jonny Hughes)

“I really enjoyed the presentations as the young people from South London came up with a range of innovative ideas to improve the city.”

The event was kicked off by Dr Ian Mudway, Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London. After being fully briefed, the students took on the roles of programmer, engineer, data analyst, project manager and policy advisor and were given a masterclass in being an expert in their field.

Kate Pryse-Lloyd, Managing Director of Stem Workshops, helped the programmers program the sensors, while Simone Steel, Fellow of the BCS – The Chartered Institute of IT, helped the data analysts understand the numbers and what they meant in real terms.

Marcel Belingue, a specialist in public policy, introduced the children to policy making. He said: “I was very impressed by the level of interest of the students, and even more by the recommendations they came up with!”

The event was a collaboration between Tribe Workshops And Mothers for lungsa citizen action group of parents who fight against air pollution.

Ms Pryse-Lloyd said: “This kind of hands-on experience not only challenges students but also prepares them for future STEM careers.

“The workshop aimed to reflect the demographics of our population in the STEM workforce, thus ensuring a diverse and skilled future generation.”

Pictured above: Year 9 students from Southwark and Lambeth schools who took part in the STEM workshop (Photo: Jonny Hughes)

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