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Why measure AIR Quality around schools and childcare centres?

Most schools and childcare centers in urban areas are located near major roads.
Whilst not always visible, the air around schools contains pollutants that can be damaging to babies, children and elderly people.

Air quality is a hot topic nowadays so the pressure on schools to come up with an effective and coordinated response is growing.

It is often said you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Schools may choose to get air quality information
from government-operated monitoring stations. But these stations can be kilometers away and therefor unrepresentative of local pollution sources.

The installation of a network of sensors could be done more efficiently. Reliable measurement is necessary to understand the risk of exposure in and around the school environment and the effectiveness of any mitigation strategies.

Forward-thinking schools see air pollution monitoring at the point of exposure  as an opportunity to educate and protect the lives they are responsible for.


Real Time Observations

Schools play a crucial role throughout the AIRQ DAO project. Firstly, they propose locations that add value to the existing air quality observations. Secondly, their students install the AIRQ sensor and they have the responsibility to monitor the working of their sensor.

It is clear that this project would be impossible without the help of schools and municipalities. The interest of schools and even more specifically the STEM education, to participate in this project is overwhelming.

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

The AIRQ DAO project is making bottom-up initiatives possible. It is a platform that provides sustainable, easy to install and easy to finance  air quality sensors for a large group of people (initially schools, daycare centres, and municipalities).

As from the moment of installation it is the data and the linked insights that count. This is what schools, together with their municipality, can use to tackle air pollution and to identify solutions and implement them.

Working with the AIRQ DAO data

Education is key

It brings STEM and environmental issues into the curriculum and into the spotlight.

Children and students get acquainted with scientific equipment and insights, it encourages time in the outdoors gathering measurements and it teaches the basics of working with and interpreting data.

Starting from the measurements students can do their own research project.

To help teachers to get started with their students, online educational material on airquality and data-analysis will been developed. To ensure that the material answers the needs of teachers it will been done together with experts active in education.

Interested? Here you can find more information on the online material.


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