On the 7th November 2022, Iman Hussain came to school to talk to our year 9 pupils about his PhD research on air pollution in collaboration with the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation. This engaging talk started with the experience of going to University and the choices and considerations which can feed into the decision of where to go and what to study.

Through his research working with Professor Adrian Friday at Lancaster University he is investigating “How can we use advanced sensors to learn more about the air around us?” Iman has delivered a TED talk and also attended COP26 in Glasgow last year. More recently he has presented his results in Monaco, Nice and Cannes and now we have had insight into live current data here at Archbishop Temple Church of England High School.  

Pupils were engaged with information linking to their year 9 Chemistry unit on the Earth and the work covered at the start of the year on the Earth’s atmosphere. Pupils learnt about the different parties who are linked to the quality of air in school such as Government, pupils, staff and the local authority together with considering where pollution comes from in schools. As part of the discussions, pupils linked ideas about the cost of living and the health and environmental impact of decisions which are made on a daily basis. We also looked at the conflicts of interest in increasing air quality, especially in light of the recent pandemic and looking after people’s health.

As part of the presentation we looked at some data about air quality from one of the laboratories in school, using equipment supplied by NAQTS, discussing how a range of factors like the location of experiments can make the data appear worse than perhaps it is, but also considering the impact of scientific data and how data interpretation is really important in studies in further education potentially feeding into future policy decisions.   

This was an enlightening presentation and the pupils enjoyed hearing about the real-world application of the science they are learning about in their lessons this year. We are grateful of the time Iman gave to share his research and experiences. If you have a science-based role and would like to come into school and inspire pupils into following a scientific career further we would love to hear from you. Please contact Mrs Storey, Second in Science, via the contact form on our school website.