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Projects gallery 2019-2020 – Climate detectives
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Projects gallery 2019-2020


Climate Detectives Projects 2019-2020

Project topic: Air pollution

Project title: How Bringing Kids to School by Car Influences the Bucharest Climate

Team: The Space Programmers

2019-2020   Școala Gimnazială Ion Heliade Rădulescu Nr. 11   Bucharest   Romania   6 Student’s age: 8-9

Summary of the project

We learn in a school from the Bucharest center. We noticed that the air is very bad during autumn-winter-spring, it’s difficult to breath. Not to mention that the temperature is increasing. To calculate climate impact of transportation of pupils age 7-15 (classes 0 – 8th) we did a survey on 114 kids, than we extrapolated at the size of all Bucharest. We calculated the incremental daily amount of CO2 generated in the atmosphere (83,000 cubic meters daily)+ the extra pollution gases (aprox 659 cubic meters of pure toxic gases). Because of coronavirus pandemic, we could not respect our initial program, of visiting INMH, the City Hall and some scientist. However, we think that our findings are really useful for adult scientists to further look into it. We used Arduino PM sensors to see that is too much dust (PM 2.5 and 10 included) in our city, we looked at satellite data (Copernic and Sentinel), we used data from 5 different monitoring sources in Bucurest (private and public). We used a lot of public information, private and from authorities + the evolution in time (during high traffic period versus low traffic period. We’ve done several Zoom meetings during pandemic and before we had 3 meetings at our houses. Main conclusion – a lot of time, gas, km and traffic jam are generated because a big percentage of kids are coming to/from school by car. This impacts the level of city pollution and its climate. We came up with several solutions to decrease this incremental traffic and to be happy and healthy We hope that we’ll live in a nicer city in the (near) future!

Main results

We decided to investigate our Bucharest climate and especially the impact of transporting kids by car to school by their parents. We created a questionnaire for all kids classes 0 to 8th in Bucharest. The results: 50.9% of all kids from Bucharest they reach school by car. 46.5% of kids are getting back home by car Than, we asked those parents who go by car to estimate the number of minutes required: – home – school – school – work – work – home Our supposition was that by bringing kids at school by car, there is an incremental fuel consumption, we can calculate with this simple formula: a + b – c So, parents told us this amount of minutes for each way: We added up all minutes declared, transformed them in seconds and divided by number of respondents. In average, – HOME -> SCHOOL – 1441 seconds (24 minutes and something) – SCHOOL -> WORK – 1520 seconds (25 minutes and something) – WORK -> HOME – 1971 seconds (32 minutes and something) So, 1441+1520-1971 = 990 seconds incremental (16 minutes and something) spend in car by parents each day due taking their kids from home –school, compared with going straight from home-work. You can see all calculation here – Incremental fuel consumption is 64005 litters. Each day. 29.586 cubic meters of CO2 + 659 cubic meters of pure toxic gases (CO, NOx, SO2) But, what else did we do? We talked with a lot of people (kids and parents), to understand how and why they are coming by car to school We created a PM sensor in Arduino. Also, we looked in, Others

Actions to help lessen the problem

After making these awesome calculations, we were shocked. We realize that our analysis is pretty simple and there are other zillions of factors, but still, is very enlightening. There are 2 things we did: at personal level and at “others” level. We told ourselves to walk as much as possible and not take cars (unless is critical) We told the authorities to: • Increase the number of bicycle lanes, so more kids could come directly to school, to generate less incremental pollution • Make more entrances gates to schools (to avoid traffic) • Add more public transport • Add more school busses • Motivate parents to send more than 1 kids with the same car, to reduce the number of cars • Help parents get cheaper electric cars • To build more schools so that children can walk up to the schools • To establish school buses • To establish tram wagons and metro lines dedicated to children in the proximity of every residential district and oversee the children’s travel • To allow schools to organize home schooling one day per week using the town’s tv channel We hope that we’ll live in a cleaner and healthier city!

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