Imperial College London

School pupils get insight into London’s green challenges at City Hall event


Students on The School's Challenge at City Hall

Young people from schools across London got a unique insight into how science and technology is helping tackle the capital’s environmental challenges

The school pupils have all been participants of The Schools Challenge - a collaboration between Imperial College London and J.P. Morgan which helped year 9 pupils to develop innovative products to improve cities on themes of transport, reusing resources, and air quality.

School's ChallengeThe programme finished in December last year, after attracting more than 150 participants from nine London schools, all of whom worked with Imperial students and J.P. Morgan business mentors to develop their idea and business plans. The pupils then created prototype products in the Reach Out Makerspace, housed within The Invention Rooms

Exciting ideas included an app that could guide you along the least polluted route to your destination, innovative exhaust pipe filters, and smart recycling bins. Green Steps, a team of Year 9 pupils from Clapton Girls School, won top prize at the competition for inventing electricity-generating insoles, which they developed in the Reach Out Makerspace at the Invention Rooms. 

Urban challenges

School's ChallengeThe School's Challenge culminated in an event at City Hall, hosted by Deputy Mayor Joanne McCartney. At the event, participants heard from Imperial academic Dr Chris Mazur, a Research Fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering, who works on a Climate-KIC project called Smart Sustainable Districts. He spoke about his work leading collaborative urban projects to tackle sustainability and climate change, while giving an overview of the kind of environmental challenges London is currently facing. 

Green Steps with Deputy Mayor Joanne McCartney
Green Steps show off their CREST awards with Deputy Mayor Joanne McCartney

Participants also took part in an interactive workshop organised by the London Transport Museum, where they learned how transport has shaped London and how engineering can help to address key urban challenges. 

Since The School's Challenge, many of the participants have gone on to enter their project for a national CREST Award, funded through the new Mayor’s London Scientist programme.


Deborah Evanson

Deborah Evanson
Communications Division

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