Local school pupils had the chance to see the working laboratories and world-leading research areas within ESI.

School pupils join University of Exeter for Environment and Sustainability Day

Year 10 pupils from schools across Cornwall spent the day at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus last week for the annual Environment and Sustainability Day, which was based on the theme: ‘Sustainable Fashion – Catwalk to Global Cat-astrophe’.

Year 10 pupils from schools across Cornwall spent the day at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus last week for the annual Environment and Sustainability Day, which was based on the theme: ‘Sustainable Fashion – Catwalk to Global Cat-astrophe’.

In its seventh year and based in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, the day involves students taking part in a range of thought provoking and creative activities. Kicking off the morning with workshops based around the theme: Dirty Fashion, From Fleece to Fabric and The Rag (and carbon) Trade; followed up with the groups breaking out to work on a mannequin competition after lunch, which was won by St Ives School with their black and white creation.

Professor Stuart Townley who ran one of the workshops explains: “We take for granted being able to buy a new T-shirt or pair of jeans. But behind this glitz of the department store are serious societal issues such as sourcing of cotton, water pollution, toxic waste and associated carbon footprints. Being able to understand the science and politics behind these issues is really important in making informed judgements."

Alongside these activities, students had the chance to see the working laboratories and world-leading research areas showing how the ESI’s work could directly impact on their futures.

The annual Environment and Sustainability Day forms part of the ESI’s objectives to build education and relationships between Cornish communities and the natural environment. The aim of this is to not only bring up important issues in everyday life, educating the 14 and 15-year-olds with unique and engaging methods, but also to encourage student enquiry.

The ESI’s Teacher Affiliate Programme connects local schools, arranges visits, and creates links between teachers and researchers.

Taking part in the activities were Richard Lander School, Helston Community College, Brannel School and St. Ives School.

Date: 12 March 2019

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