As an exciting new venture, Year 5 are undertaking a project with Leeds City Council to educate the children about the importance of air quality and the risks to everyone’s health of poor air quality, caused in no small part by the emissions from the many vehicles around schools at drop off and pick up times. We are also learning about the benefits of active travel.
One of the most dangerous gases given off by vehicle exhausts is Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). We will be monitoring the Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels in the air in areas around school, as NO2 has been linked to the increasing levels of asthma cases in children and has been proven to reduce lung capacity by 20%. As well as this, we will monitor idling cars which pump out NO2 while leaving their engines running, and we will monitor levels of traffic around the school.
We will use our findings to produce a campaign in order to persuade children and parents to leave their cars at home whenever possible and use active methods of travel instead, such as scootering, walking or cycling to school. Year 5 will also receive some scooter training, and there will be an anti-idling sign competition, with the winning designs being put on placards in areas where cars are often observed to be idling. The school will also receive a pool of 10 scooters and scooter storage to be used by children who might want to borrow them to travel to and from school.
A really worthwhile and fascinating project!