UCS's new Camden Eco Champions hailed

UCS were back on the podium at the annual Camden Eco Champions Awards as Sixth Form student Anna Meade and Year 10 pupil Stefan Truscott were rewarded for their outstanding engagement with environmental issues.

The UCS duo have been at the forefront of school sustainability projects during the past 12 months, with Anna providing excellent leadership of the Green Impact campaigning group and Stefan using his coding and problem-solving skills to help check air pollution.

They were both at the Roundhouse in Camden on 3rd December to collect their Eco Champions Awards in the Junior Heroes section (for ages 12–17). Anna took first place, Stefan second, to build on former pupil Ava Lang’s recognition last year and further underline UCS’s commitment to the local community and local environment.

Anna helped to organise the school’s inaugural Sustainability Open Evening last April, a highly successful event which UCS hosted in partnership with the Camden Clean Air Initiative. Among other projects, she has contributed to the UCS Foundation’s energy efficiency competition during Switch Off Fortnight this year and last, and led a campaign to get rid of single-use cups from the Sixth Form Centre.

Now president of Green Impact, the A Level student said: “This is the thing I’m most involved with at UCS. It’s a really good society with a real range of people and a positive vibe. I really enjoy it. My award is for multiple things including the Sustainability Evening. We hope to make it an annual event to encourage parents and keep giving people across Camden ideas of what they could be doing.”

By comparison, Stefan might be termed an accidental environmentalist. A chance meeting with Rensair air purification company, during the same sustainability event, led to him winning a competition to host a Rensair air purifier at UCS and write a paper on its effects. He was only at the event to demonstrate the portable air monitor he had built as part of a CAPS (Community Air Pollution Sensors) project run by Green Impact and the school Coding Club, under the tutelage of Camden Clean Air and partners.

“Essentially, we built air sensors designed by Camden,” the GCSE pupil said. “They explained the code and we built them like very difficult Lego! Then Rensair invited me to take part in their competition – a bit like a Maths challenge. I had to figure out the air flow through one of their purifiers. I’ve since got to talk to like-minded people and find out how they see things and build what they build.”

Back from the Roundhouse, our new Eco Champions were grateful for the opportunities available at UCS, in Anna’s words, “to follow your own path”. She expanded: “The environment is something people worry about but we really feel that we are doing everything we can and the school are being receptive to this. They are encouraging about the changes we are trying to make.” Stefan concurred: “UCS are really open to anything you want to do. It’s like you know what you want to do, the teachers know what you want to do, and together you can get there.”

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