Pupils pedal their way to healthy eating

Youngsters in Sheffield used pedal power to create healthy smoothies this week (28-30 June 2010) during a series of events run by students at the University of Sheffield, which aimed to teach the importance of the negative effects of energy drinks.

The pupils from Parkwood Academy School were treated to the smoothie-making session, which involved pedaling a bike with a smoothie-maker attached. The bike, which was provided by Chartswells food specialists, generates power as it is pedaled to enable the healthy drinks to be produced.

The group of students, from the Student Associates Scheme at the University, decided to arrange the events after the school's decision to ban energy drinks. They supervised a class of Year 9 pupils, who took on the task to arrange each session. They ran workshops during every break and lunchtime for three days to teach other pupils the importance of healthy eating and drinking, and the benefits it can bring.

The events also included looking at sugar-filled beakers and matching it up to different energy drinks and learning about the effects of caffeine.

The Students Associates Scheme is a national scheme funded by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) which aims to raise levels of attainment and aspiration of young people in schools and help students gain teaching experience.

Emma Clark, 21, who is due to begin a PGCE course at the University of Sheffield in September, said: "We decided to run the events to give something back to the school after they've helped us gain valuable work experience for our teaching careers. The school does a lot of work to raise awareness of healthy eating, and we wanted to contribute to this initiative by explaining why it is important. The pupils really enjoyed the workshops and learnt a lot from the lessons and from each other."

For further information please contact: Lauren Anderson, Media Relations Officer, on 0114 2221046 or email l.h.anderson@sheffield.ac.uk