In Spring 2018, STIA 315 – International Air Quality Lab utilized The Maker Hub to build and test a design for a low-cost air quality monitor. Using tools and equipment like the 3D printers to fabricate components as well as expertise from the Maker Hub staff who helped them iterate on the initial design of the monitor, they were able to create a tool that can provide basic air pollution information for just $150.
Professor Colin McCormick who teaches the course described why this kind of project is so crucial for communities, “Air pollution is one of the most severe environmental and human health issues the world faces today. However, it's difficult for governments and ordinary citizens to track and evaluate the air quality in their communities because professional-grade air monitors are extremely expensive - as much as $20,000 each.”
As an open source design, communities around the globe can recreate the tool more cheaply and sustainably, providing them with important access to guidance about the air quality in their area. For more information about the air quality monitor design and students' individual experiences with building and testing them, see Professor McCormick’s article "Building low-cost air pollution monitors at Georgetown University" on Medium.com.
Are you interested in integrating Maker Hub spaces, resources, and expertise into your course? Reach out to Don Undeen at email@example.com to discuss how hands-on projects can enhance the student experience and learning!