Leicester students’ environmental education work wins them a trip to the Arctic Circle

Posted by mjs76 at Dec 12, 2011 12:50 PM |
Congratulations to Planet On Standby, national winners of the npower Future Leaders Challenge

Four students from our Department of Physics and Astronomy have won a national environmental competition and netted themselves a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Arctic.

The npower Future Leaders Challenge asked students to develop local environmental projects. Rising to the challenge, the Leicester quartet - Dave Gray, Andy West, Gediminas Galinis and Owen Littlejohns – created Planet On Standby, a raft of projects promoting understanding of climate change and ways to tackle it.

Working with the University, Leicester City Council and the National Space Centre, the Planet On Standby team have:

  • Staged interactive energy workshops for primary school children and for GCSE students.
  • Developed a module for the University’s Interdisciplinary Science Centre.
  • Staged an energy generation competition at the University’s sports facilities
  • Distributed hundreds of beermats with energy-saving advice to the Students’ Union and (via local brewery Everards) Leicester pubs.
  • Presented a free screening for students of Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
  • Created the daily ‘Environmental Picture of the Day’ which has so far been picked up as a feed by nine universities including Cambridge and the LSE.

In mid-October, the PoS team headed to Dartmoor for a team-building weekend that would prepare them for the potential top prize of a week dog-sledding in the Arctic. Last week, they made their way up to Durham for the npower Future Leaders Challenge final where they were up against teams from St Andrews, Leeds, Exeter and Manchester. Each team presented a five-minute video on their work:

And we are delighted to say that Dave, Andy, Gediminas and Owen emerged victorious! Next April, they will set off from London to Oslo, then up to Alta, and then harness up the huskies for a 200km trip through the Arctic wastes.

But the project doesn’t stop with the winner’s announcement. Planet On Standby will continue its work of educating and inspiring young people to make a difference to the world and tackle climate change.