Pupils' pollution device wins their school £5,000 in national contest

Lily Rimmer, left, and Annabelle Platt, students at

Lily Rimmer, left, and Annabelle Platt, students at Alderman Peel High School in Wells, pictured with the medals and team jumpers for taking part in a contest and designing a Bluetooth Pollution Device. - Credit: Amanda Moffatt

Have you ever been in a busy city centre and wondered just how much pollution you are being exposed to? 

You may one day be able to tell thanks to an idea from two pupils, whose design for a portable 'Bluetooth pollution device' has won £5,000 for their school.

Lily Rimmer, 11, Annabelle Platt, 12, are both in Year 7 at Alderman Peel High School in Wells, have been named runners-up in a national Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize contest for their design.   

Mrs Amanda Moffat - design and technology teacher and STEM co-ordinator - said it was a brilliant result. 

Mrs Moffatt said: "We're ecstatic. Lily and Annabelle said they wanted to put the winnings towards encouraging more girls into STEM."

A graphic illustrating the concept for the Bluetooth Pollution Device

A graphic illustrating the concept for the Bluetooth Pollution Device designed by Lily Rimmer and Annabelle Platt, students at Alderman Peel High School in Wells. - Credit: Supplied by Amazon LEP


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The contest invited pupils aged 11-16 to come up with a technical solutions for modern-day issues, and many of the entries centres around the environment, physical and mental health.

Lily and Annabelle's device can be worn as a badge or wristband, which measures air pollution in the wearer's vicinity and shares advice to reduce their exposure. 

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After their entry was picked as one of 40 finalists, they had to put together a presentation and take part in mentoring sessions to help their bid. 

They were also given a £125 grant to buy electronics to design and build a working prototype of their device. 

Mrs Moffatt said it was unclear what the next steps would be, or if the device could actually be produced on a wider scale. 

Lily Rimmer, left, and Annabelle Platt, students at Alderman Peel High School in Wells, came up with t

Lily Rimmer, left, and Annabelle Platt, students at Alderman Peel High School in Wells, came up with the idea for a Bluetooth Pollution Device. - Credit: Amanda Moffatt

The winning team - Paul's Girls' School in London - designed, developed and coded an app to interpret British Sign Language (BSL) and translate it into spoken English, as well as translate spoken English into BSL videos.

The app also aims to teach BSL, with personalised feedback to video footage of the user practising.

Lauren Kisser, director at Amazon's Development Centre in Cambridge and an Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize judge, said: "Every entry in this year's final has demonstrated serious ingenuity and creativity.

"It has been really exciting to see the finalists commit themselves to the process and develop their ideas into prototypes with support from Amazon mentors."


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