University of Leicester project teaches tomorrow’s heroes how to save the world.

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University of Leicester students are helping local schools to calculate their carbon footprints and teaching the children about what they find to raise awareness of the importance of cutting carbon emissions.

The project – a partnership between the University, the schools, Leicester City Council and Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire – is also raising aspirations for local pupils who may be thinking of going into higher education and providing opportunities for the student volunteers to try out teaching.

Specially trained ‘technical’ students are creating carbon footprint reports that detail the schools’ environmental impacts from travel and energy use to water and waste.

Avenue Primary – the closest school to the University – is one of those taking part. They are also participants in the Solar Schools project where they are aiming to raise £17,500 to put solar panels on the roof of the school (go to www.solarschools.org.uk/avenue/ to donate).

Mrs Nicky Kandola, Avenue’s headteacher said, “The project is really helping the school to understand and minimise our environmental impact and the volunteers have been great at teaching and inspiring the children to be more environmentally-aware, which is becoming more important these days”.

Dr Emma Fieldhouse, from the University of Leicester’s Environment Team, added: “The students have really enjoyed their teaching experiences and learning about how to produce a carbon footprint will give them transferable skills for the future”.

Other schools taking part in the project this year include Herrick Primary, Northfields House Primary, Crown Hills Community College, Caldecote Community Primary and Heathfield Academy.

As this is a pilot project, schools will be invited to take part in the programme next year and the opportunity of using students to produce carbon assessments in small local businesses is also being investigated.

To find out more about the project or for details of how to take part contact environment@le.ac.uk.

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