School run campaigners work with air quality firm to give pupils high-tech monitors as part of Hampstead trial

Jacob Trimble tests a Plume air quality monitor on his way to school in Hampstead. Picture: Elaine T

Jacob Trimble tests a Plume air quality monitor on his way to school in Hampstead. Picture: Elaine Trimble - Credit: Archant

French air quality monitoring firm Plume Labs have joined with schools, parents and children in NW3 to test the air we breathe.

Paris-based Plume are are running a five-week pilot in Hampstead with six schools after being approached by the parents' group Green School Runs to monitor the state of the air local children breathe.

Green School Runs, formerly known as NW3 Green School Runs, has helped sign six schools up to the scheme which is running throughout February - and has seen children at the schools involved given an exciting new toy to play with.

Elaine Trimble, a Hampstead parent with a background in air quality monitoring, told this newspaper about the opportunity.

She said: "It's broadly six schools - we are really happy to have them all on board - working with Plume for five weeks. Each school has a couple of the monitors and pupils are taking it in turns to use them to monitor as they walk to school or in the playground. My son has one on his book bag!"

The pilot scheme began on February 3 and will run for five weeks. At the end, the pupils will have collected data mapping how the air they breathe really looks.

A spokesperson for Plume Labs said they loved that the project was "parents, teachers, and students working

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together to understand what's in the air between their home and their schools".

The company's chief exec Romain Lacombe, said: "When we overcome the air pollution crisis, it will be because of individuals working together with their neighbours, communities, governments, and institutions in a collective effort to clean up the air. Widespread education and solid data is the foundation for this grassroots effort."

Elaine added: "It's exciting, it's interesting and it's a really accessible piece of tech. It is chemistry and physics that goes into this really, and there are ways for schools to use that in teaching."

The six schools signed up to the trial are Devonshire House Prep, St Anthony's Prep, Fitzjohn's Primary, Hampstead Hill, St Mary's Hampstead and UCS Hampstead's junior school.

The Green School Runs campaigners are also launching six walking bus routes around Hampstead and Highgate on February 24. For more information see @GreenSchoolRuns on Twitter.