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Edinburgh issues IoT challenge to schoolchildren


School pupils in Edinburgh have been challenged to come up with creative ways of using new technologies to tackle local issues.

City of Edinburgh Council and the University of Edinburgh’s Data Education in Schools programme have joined with fibre network provider CityFibre in the project, which is part of a broader initiative to deliver an internet of things (IoT) pilot to schools in the city.

CityFibre is to provide schools with IoT technology kits and invite pupils to practice solving challenges using sensors and data analysis, some of which will be collected over the network the company is building around the city.

The organisations have called on schoolchildren to come up with creative ideas for using the IoT for purposes such as monitoring air quality in playgrounds and providing new approaches in the classroom.

A number of pupils will be invited to showcase their ideas at an event in May.

Professor Judy Robertson, chair in digital learning at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Education, Community and Society, said: “The project will encourage young people to think about how they can use sensors and data to understand their environment and to develop tools that can improve their local communities, learning how data can be used for good. The project is a fantastic addition to our Data Education for Schools project.”  

CityFibre is currently investing more than £100 million on a city-wide full fibre network in Edinburgh.

Image: Phil Cragg, Deloitte smart city specialist; Andy Starnes, head of city development at CityFibre; Frank Airth, city manager at Vodafone; Elaine Doherty, CityFibre’s city manager for Edinburgh; Jenni Doonan, business developer at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Education, Community and Society; Liz McAreavey, chief executive, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce; Andrew Kerr, chief executive, The City of Edinburgh Council

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