Students and staff at Ron Dearing UTC are continuing to cut their carbon footprints after an increase in cycling to school paved the way for a bike shed expansion.
Year 12 students Catherine Crees and Jaden Taylor were crowned winners of The Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge 2021 for their ideas to help tackle the climate crisis.
Their project included researching and calculating how students and staff could reduce their carbon footprints by cycling to school rather than driving or using public transport.
Many of their peers and staff embraced the idea and were inspired to change their travel habits, resulting in the need to double the school’s bike shed facilities and create additional secure space to accommodate dozens more bikes.
Catherine, 17, said: “I’m really proud that we have been able to help people realise how they can become carbon neutral. Being able to provide more space for students and staff to safely secure their bikes is a really positive step and it’s brilliant to see our ideas are being taken on board.”
Jaden, 17, said: “It’s great to come up with an idea, work on it and see it come together. It gives me a brilliant feeling that we’re helping to make a difference.”
Organised by Marketing Humber, The Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge, encourages young people aged nine to 18 to plan and deliver their own eco project and find sustainable climate change solutions as part of The Waterline campaign.
Catherine and Jaden’s winning efforts earned them a trip to the global United Nations climate change conference COP26, held in Glasgow last November, and saw them speak about their project at a fringe event during the event.
They also hope to spend their £2,500 prize money on a project that will involve planting a tree in Hull city centre for every Ron Dearing UTC student past, present and future.
Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, is among staff who often cycle to school.
Glenn said: “We’re starting to see how much of a difference making small, personal changes can make in terms of reducing our carbon footprint.
“I enjoy cycling my 24-mile round trip as often as possible and it’s fantastic to see so many students and staff adopting the same approach.
“As a school, we’re wholeheartedly committed to reducing our carbon footprint and playing our part in helping the region to achieve its net zero targets.”
Ron Dearing UTC is also a partner in the recently launched Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign, which is backed by dozens of businesses and will see Hull and the Humber lead the way to becoming carbon neutral.
Entries are now open for The Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge 2022 and Ron Dearing UTC students will once again enter the competition. For further details visit https://thewaterline.global/students