AirCasting: Education Edition

by Michael H

In the spring we had lots of fun teaching students how to make AirCasting compatible air monitors and luminescent accessories.  For details on these educational programs, along with some really great videos, read on.

Making Air Monitors with High School Seniors

In 2012, the Newtown Creek Alliance, in partnership with HabitatMap, received an Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant from the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation to develop and teach a course on air quality monitoring at Queens Vocational & Technical High School, located in Sunnyside, Queens, New York City.

The 26 QVT students who participated in the AirCasting program during the spring of 2013:

  • • Built their own air monitors with instruction from a mechanical engineering professor from the New York City College of Technology and an electrical engineering professor from Manhattan College;
  • • Toured the neighborhood around their school with a historian from the Newtown Creek Alliance;
  • • Learned the basics of air quality from the Senior Vice President of Sonoma Technology;
  • • Developed and executed their own air quality monitoring plans using the AirCasting platform; and
  • • Presented their work and findings to their peers, members of the Newtown Creek Alliance, and staff from the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation.

To learn more about the program watch the above video and visit the Newtown Creek Alliance website.

Fashion Your Environment

Fashion Your Environment is a youth centered program focused on broadcasting environmental data through fashion and wearable technology. Youth participants were exposed to mentorship and training in design, prototyping, and fabrication of fashion accessories that visualize environmental data using AirCasting Luminescence. AirCasting Luminescence uses a microcontroller connected to the AirCasting app over Bluetooth to illuminate colored LED lights in response to sensor measurements received by the AirCasting app: green for low intensity, then yellow, then orange, and red for high intensity.

To learn more about the program, watch the above video and read our Tumblr blog.

The Fashion Your Environment Program is a collaboration between the New York Hall of Science, Parsons the New School for Design, and HabitatMap. Funding was provided by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, administered by Mozilla, and in partnership with Hive Learning Networks.