A group of Year 8 students helped out with the Something in the Air research project when a team from the Centre of the Cell in the Blizard Institute of Queen Mary University came to The Quest Academy.

Ameerah Khan and her team brought the project to enable students to learn more about air pollution and effects it can have on their bodies. Students worked on activities such as wading through (fake) sputum to see what you might find in it, examining cells from lungs to see if they could identify effects of pollution and discussing the problems air pollution might cause in South America.

Whilst this was happening, a small group of volunteers completed experiments to see if their own bodies had been affected by air pollution. This involved a range of scientists taking samples of urine & saliva as well as measuring lung capacity, taking part in an allergy test and inhaling saline vapour to enable students to cough up white blood cells from the very bottom of the lungs the see if soot particles were present.

The team whisked the samples back to their lab where they started analysing it that very afternoon. They will use the data from the day, along with other schools across London, to study the effects of air pollution and the team will come back next year to present their results.