High school students reduce air pollution through innovative air purification solutions

18 March 2024
Photo collage of UPSHIFT winners

Skopje, 18 March 2024: Five high school teams were granted 120,000 denars and three months of mentoring support for the realization of their solutions for dealing with polluted air through various models for filtration and air purification.

From 4 to 6 March this year, a total of ten groups of high school students from across the country, who were selected as finalists in the UPSHIFT open call, with the support of mentors created solutions to reduce the harm from polluted air. 

Five teams were declared winners by a jury of experts, based on the presentations and the solutions’ potential. The top five teams that received funds to implement their ideas are:

  • High School "Gostivar"- Gostivar will create a mobile air purifier for outdoor and indoor use, which will be used on the school terrain during physical education classes, but also in the classrooms during classes. The purifier will be powered by solar energy and will not be dependent on the power grid.
  • High School "28 November" - Debar will test four different methods of air purification in their school. Students will measure and publish the results achieved with each of the four purification methods and make assessments of the effectiveness of each of the four methods.
  • High School "Vlado Tasevski"- Skopje will create an economical and efficient purifier that will have four-stage air filtration composed of an ionizer, activated charcoal, hepa filter and silica dehumidifier.
  • High school "Orde Copela"- Prilep will create a "smart eco panel" in the form of a vertical garden composed of plants that have properties for effective air purification. The smart eco panel will have a dual property, as an air purifier, but also a soil purifier of heavy metals.
  • High School "Ljupco Santov"- Kocani will make an air purifier that works on the basis of natural filters made of moss, rice husks and black coal. Particles of polluted air are adhered to the layers of natural filters and purified air is emitted from the outlet chamber.

The UPSHIFT programme engages young people aged 13 to 19 years to design an innovative solution to a social problem they have identified in their community. In the coming period, young people will be engaged in two more cycles of the programme focusing on reducing the harmful effects of air pollution.

UPSHIFT is implemented by UNICEF in partnership with the Leaders for Education, Activism and Development Association (LEAD), with financial support from Sweden and the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development. This initiative is part of the “UPSHIFT-ers for Air Quality” project.

Media contacts

Suzie Pappas Capovska
Tel: (02) 3231-244
Irina Ivanovska
Tel: (02) 3231-172


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