Pupils breathe easy after air quality monitor is donated

Friday, 19 November, 2021

Petersfield pupils will be able to monitor air pollution around their school thanks to a smart new gadget provided by a local campaigner and a grant from East Hampshire District Council.

A portable air monitor has been handed over to the school by Petersfield resident Ann Saunders, who is running an anti-idling campaign to cut car emissions in the town.

The school will use the device to measure the pollutants in various places around the school, particularly drop off and pick up points. It can also be used by pupils who walk or cycle to school to test the levels of pollution they are exposed to on their daily commute.

The monitor was paid for in part by a grant from East Hampshire District Council and by a donation from former pupils.

The school already takes environmental issues very seriously and has an Eco Committee of determined pupils.

Mrs Saunders, who was a Special Needs Assistant at TPS in the 1990s, presented the monitor to TPS Principal Mark Marande and two pupils, Ossian and Maja.

“It was a delight to meet Mark Marande the Headmaster, Eco Ambassador Maja and Eco Committee member Ossian, who has been using the sensor already,” she said. “It’s heart-warming that TPS has an allotment on site and has been busy looking into how the school can be more eco-friendly.”

Cllr Julie Butler granted Mrs Saunders’ anti-idling campaign £200, some of which was used on the air quality sensor.

“Ann’s campaign is really valuable as it is so important that we manage our air quality and try to discourage cars idling while in queues or at junctions,” she said.

“The roads alongside our local schools are a prime example of a place where cars gather in large numbers. I think it’s a great idea to have the air monitor in the school and I am very pleased the young pupils are going to be involved in using it.”

TPS Principal, Mark Marande, said: “We are absolutely committed to playing our part in helping to fight climate change. We have recently installed highly efficient LED lighting site-wide and made further improvements to our site to cut our energy use.

“Our students are very passionate about this topic and we hope the air quality monitor will help our education campaign by turning our students into citizen scientists who can help to raise awareness and change behaviours.”