Children Learn About Sustainability at University’s Annual Awareness Event

Children from across Worcestershire learnt about how they could make a difference to the environment at an annual University of Worcester-run event involving local charities and businesses.

The Skills for Tomorrow day saw pupils from local schools take part in activities and workshops, introducing them to environmental issues surrounding sustainability, and quiz businesses about their practices.

The aim was to demonstrate what we can do to help the environment now and in the future and how simple changes can have huge impacts both in Worcester and internationally.

It also opened their eyes to the range of career possibilities within the sustainability field.

University students helped run sustainability-themed workshops for pupils from Christopher Whitehead Language College and Nunnery Wood High School, in Worcester, and Aston Fields Middle School, in Bromsgrove.

These explored sustainable food - foods which have a low environmental impact, for example ones grown locally - and sustainable travel - ways of getting around which produce fewer carbon emissions.

Pupils also looked at research to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in cities.

Organisations involved in the event included Interface, Severn Rivers Trust, Worcester Bosch Group, Gtech, Rotary Club of Worcester, Shelter Box, Borro Club, Neoperl and Speller Metcalfe.

Their displays included carpets made from recycled fishing nets, which were harming coral reefs; a shower that saves water; energy saving boilers; and a local ice cream vendor who gives some of their takings to charity.

The Severn Rivers Trust had a water flow simulator, which allowed children to use different pieces of equipment to block the flow of a ‘river’ to better understand the effect of weirs on certain fish who are unable to get upstream to lay their eggs.

Alice Fallon, Education Officer for the Severn Rivers Trust, said: “It’s really nice to show the different career opportunities that are available in conservation on big projects like this.”

James Crane, Gtech’s Senior Project Demonstrator, who showed pupils the company’s electric bike, said: “It’s a very good event and it’s important to show children what there is out there in terms of further job prospects as well as helping save the environment.”

A 12-year-old Christopher Whitehead pupil said: “I enjoyed the river conservation demonstration.  It was fun and interesting. It’s important to hear what’s being done in terms of the environment because there’s lots of things that are going wrong because of pollution, lots of wildlife that is dying. It’s important we do something about it.”

Pauline Watmore, Careers Advisor and Coordinator at Christopher Whitehead Language College, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to impress on young people the importance of living environmentally, which they can they share with their family.”

University’s Director of Sustainability, Katy Boom, added: “The opportunities for learning and sharing ideas that Skills for Tomorrow provides impresses me more each year we hold this event.  Everyone attending takes away new learning and inspiration.”