THE landmark Born in Bradford (BiB) project is working in partnership with Leeds-based creative education provider, IVE, and two primary schools, St Stephen’s CoE Primary and IQRA Academy, to give 30 young children the opportunity to help design new ways to reduce air pollution.

IVE’s Applied Creativity Labs aim to give students the creative behaviours and thinking skills they need to develop innovative solutions to real world challenges.

Never before has the need to find new ways to tackle climate change been more important and as the impact of climate change intensifies over time, it is the children and young people of today who will face the worst effects.

Pairing young innovators, with industry experts, has seen children in Bradford use their uninhibited creativity to develop a range of inspiring new ideas to reduce air pollution; drones that capture air pollution and convert it into oxygen, from electric houses powered by volcanic lava, to the hovercars of the future.

The work is part of the National Institute for Health Research funded ‘BiB Breathes’ project which is exploring the impact that pollution has on children’s health within the city.

The students’ ideas were judged by a panel at Bradford City Hall.

IVE’s Programmes Director, Sarah Mumford, believes now is the time to help young people take action to protect the future of the planet.

She said: “At IVE, we believe that creativity shapes a better world.

"Knowledge alone is not enough - being able to apply divergent and convergent thinking skills to help find innovative solutions to a huge global crisis such as climate change, is vital. 

“Our labs are designed to give children and young people the skills to drive positive change. 

“By applying creativity to real-world challenges, learning becomes real and young people use their new skills to take an active part in creating their own futures.” 

Jamie Thorpe, assistant head teacher and science leader at St Stephen's CoE Primary School, Bradford, added: “The children have absolutely loved working with Sarah and the Creativity Labs Team.

"They have learned about the very real issue of the climate emergency and began to think creatively about their role within this and how they can begin to come up with real life solutions. 

“I have seen the children who have taken part in the Creativity Labs workshops thrive and grow in enthusiasm for the topic as well as confidence in general.”

Professor Rosie McEachan, Director of BiB, said: “Our research has shown that pollution causes high levels of ill-health in Bradford, and our children bear the brunt of this. 

“We need to start acting to reduce pollution levels within the city and young people have the type of blue sky creative thinking needed to solve difficult problems like this. 

“We all have our part to play in tackling pollution and we hope that their solutions can act as a catalyst to action.”