Leeds schoolgirl wins national STEM competition for air quality sensor

A schoolgirl from Leeds has won a national science competition after creating a sensor which can detect the healthiest route to work or school.

Thursday, 9th April 2020, 6:00 am

Ava Garside, who is in Year 9 at Allerton Grange School, has been named the Junior winner of the Youth Industrial Strategy Competition, a national science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) initiative.

Determined to combat the climate crisis, Ava created an air quality pin badge sensor which can detect the healthiest route to work or school.

Her creation impressed the panel of STEM experts judging the competition, aimed at finding solutions to the greatest challenges facing modern society.

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Ava Garside from Leeds, Junior winner of the Youth Industrial Strategy Competition

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Ava said: “I am so happy with my progress in the Youth Industrial Strategy Competition. I put so much hard work into addressing the Grand Challenge of Artificial Intelligence and Data, and I am thrilled that the judges liked my project and recognised the dedication and creativity that went into it.

“I really enjoyed having a creative and practical outlet for my passion for STEM and I am already thinking of new and exciting ways that I can use my skills to help address other current, real-world challenges.”

With the live finals event cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the competition organisers, the British Science Association and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) asked schools to create videos of students presenting their finished projects and the information they had been planning to share with judges.

Tom Saunders, Head of Public Engagement at UKRI, said Ava had worked incredibly hard to help enable the remote judging at such a challenging time for schools across the UK.

Tom said: "As this air quality sensor shows, today’s students have an important part to play in addressing society’s biggest challenges.

"I would like to congratulate Ava on her fantastic winning project and wish all the finalists every continued success in the future.”

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