Year 6 school children in Shipley will be building their own air quality monitors as part of an innovative European project on Clean Air Day (20 June).

Bradford Council, University of Bradford and Well Bradford are working with SCORE and Shipley Church of England School to create the technology that will show the temperature and levels of small and large particulate.

Particulate matter is the mix of particles in the atmosphere caused by dust, pollen, pollution and other materials and can affect people’s health if levels are too high.

The University will run a workshop where pupils will learn about the science behind air quality and the importance of everyone playing their part in minimising their impact on the environment.

University of Bradford will rung workshops on the environment

They will then work in groups of six to build their own Luftdaten monitors, purchased by Well Bradford, before trying to connect to the council’s innovative LoRaWAN network for sending readings to a cloud server.

A dashboard app is in the process of being created for the school and the data will be used in schools, by the Local Authority and the European SCORE (Smart Cities Open Data Re-Use) project to see if the information will help air quality work in other participating cities.

Although other cities are working with communities to build and use these sensors, Bradford will be the first to bring the project into a school in this way.

Dhaval Thakker, Senior lecturer in Computer Science at Bradford University is leading the project at the school. He said:

“This is a great project for the kids to be involved in. It’s a real life science project that will teach them valuable knowledge in a practical and engaging way.

“It’s not often we can offer a project where, by the end of the day, we will be able to get these children delivering results which, over time, may help Bradford Council monitor the air quality around the school.”

“That best practice can then be shared amongst the SCORE partner cities – and it will be partly down to the work the children will have done.”

Rosie Eccles, Assistant Headteacher at Shipley Church of England School, said:

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the class to be involved in such an important project and see that science can have a real impact on their lives.”

“Being able to build the sensors themselves means they can feel involved and part of this project and it will be fascinating to see how we can use this project and the data to help teach the whole school about air quality.”

These devices will also be used by community groups and schools in the Girlington area of Bradford where asthma amongst children is the highest in the city. SCORE works across nine cities including Gothenburg, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Dordrecht, Bergen, Aarhus, Aberdeen and Gent. It aims to increase the efficiency and quality of public services by using data-driven solutions.