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Stockport school partners with Hydrock, now Stantec, for Clean Air Day initiative

28th May 2024

Raising awareness about air quality and empowering young minds, Hydrock has partnered with Fairway Primary School, in Offerton, to launch an initiative leading up to Clean Air Day on Thursday 20 June. The project, which kicked-off earlier this month, aims to not only monitor local air quality but also engage the school community and wider public in understanding its importance.

According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution is the world’s most significant environmental health risk, with 99% of people breathing polluted air and causing one in eight deaths.

Alison White, headteacher at Fairway Primary School, said:

What a brilliant opportunity for our Green Team to look at the impact on our air quality during different periods throughout the day. We’re really excited to see, and learn from, the results. A huge thank you to Hydrock, now Stantec, for providing our pupils with the opportunity to engage with science, technology, and the environment in a real-world context.

The initiative will see the installation of air quality monitors within the school grounds, allowing the school to track key pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. The data collected will provide valuable insights into local pollution levels and be used to educate pupils about the factors that impact air quality.

Lauren Massingham, principal air quality consultant, who is spearheading the initiative, added:

Our team will be monitoring particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and nitrogen oxide (NO2) via advanced sensor technology, sampling pollutant concentrations every 15 minutes, all powered by renewable energy using solar panels.

Sitting alongside the more sophisticated automatic system, we have also set up several passive samplers, known as diffusion tubes, which will be changed monthly in line with the DEFRA calendar. This passive method only provides a more general overview of NO2 concentrations but highlights another method available for monitoring air quality to the pupils.

Lauren, and specialists from our air quality team, will be working closely with teachers to develop age-appropriate educational resources that will help pupils understand the data and its impact on their health, wellbeing and the environment.

Clean Air Day itself will be used to provide workshops, create posters to engage the community and a presentation from the school’s ‘Green Team’.

By monitoring air quality and fostering public engagement, we hope our Clean Air Day initiative empowers the entire community to take action and provides a welcome step towards a cleaner and healthier Greater Manchester.

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