Young people to help make Edinburgh a Smart City

School pupils in Edinburgh are being challenged to creatively use new technologies to tackle local issues as part of a new partnership.

The project could see pupils develop ways of monitoring air-quality in playgrounds, improve the use of digital technology in classrooms or examine digital methods for managing traffic flow across the city.

The ambition is to help primary and secondary school year groups see how Internet of Things (IoT) devices could transform Edinburgh into a Smart City, one that incorporates information and communication technologies into its everyday life and business.

The IoT is the connection of devices – such as simple sensors, smartphones and wearable technologies – with one another and the internet.  

Skills and confidence

The initiative is a collaboration between CityFibre – the UK’s leading alternative provider of wholesale full fibre network infrastructure, the City of Edinburgh Council, and the University of Edinburgh’s Data Education in Schools programme – part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

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. By bringing business, schools and the University together we can ensure that we are providing young people with skills and confidence to take full advantage of the opportunities provided within our data driven society.

Professor Judy RobertsonChair in Digital Learning at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Education, Community and Society

CityFibre will provide schools in Edinburgh with IoT technology kits over the next 12 months. This will enable pupils to practice solving challenges using sensors and data analysis, with some of the data collected travelling over the CityFibre network.

We can’t wait to hear about the creative ideas school pupils have to use IoT technologies and make the most of Edinburgh’s new full fibre infrastructure.

Elaine DohertyCityFibre’s City Manager for Edinburgh

Problem solvers

Experts hope it will enhance the number of children using data science education in schools and will help pupils to greater understand data-driven solutions for a range of issues both inside and outside of school. 

The project will begin in spring and a number of pupils will be invited to attend a Smart Cities event in Edinburgh in May to showcase their solutions.

This is a fantastic opportunity for young people across Edinburgh to explore how digital technology can change the way we live our lives – and to help us come up with data-driven solutions for some of the challenges facing the capital. Thanks to this partnership with CityFibre and the University of Edinburgh, the next generation of problem-solvers will gain the skills needed to deliver a truly smart city for the future.

Cllr Adam McVey Leader of Edinburgh City Council

Related links

Institute for Education, Community and Society

Data-Driven Innovation

City Fibre's Gigabit Cities project