Public Lab Wiki documentation

Air Quality Class 1

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Class Home

Getting Started

Equipment: bring Air Quality Egg units to pass around

In class activity A: Intro to Public Lab

  • What is an online research community?
    • compare to online reading community like
  • What do we work on together?
    • tools, methods, questions, advocacy
  • Why do we do these things?
    • STEM learning and environmental justice outcomes.

In class activity B:

  • Show how to create user profiles on
  • Show how to post a Research Note and tag as “CHAQ”
  • The teacher will join the Public Lab mailing list.

In class activity C: Intro to Air Quality Egg

  • Discuss:
    • how people collaborated online to create this open source product by sharing knowledge, perspectives, and local experiences,
    • how this equipment is being installed globally.
    • history of AQE, show prior project “citizen sensor”, which includes the NYSCI collaboration, and summer camp for middle schoolers.

In class activity D: Introduction to air quality

  • What do we mean when we say “air quality”?
  • What is the difference between indoor and outdoor air quality?
  • What are air quality markers?
    • who thinks those markers are important and why?
    • what can be measured, what technology is used to measure, and how does it work?
    • what kind of data is it? (numbers)
    • where is the data stored?
    • what conclusions can be interpreted from this, what can be acted upon to improve our air quality?
  • Give overview of the weeks to come.

Week 1 Assignment

Sign up on Go to the registration page and follow the steps, including confirming through your email account.

Initial site survey: visit places (indoor or outdoor) where you think a sensor unit can be installed.

  • What are you noticing about air quality?
    • Identify where you have experienced poor air quality, record relative “hot,” “cold,” “damp,” or “smoky” parts of your everyday environment, and whether you made those observations with your eyes, skin, and/or nose.
  • Go out and look for where sensors can be set up:
    • good places will have access to a working power outlet and be close to an area you have identified as having poor air quality.
  • Write a new Research Note on (24 hours before next meeting).
  • Make sure to include your opinion of all the sites you visited, and name the one you think will be the best place to install a sensor for 1 week.
  • Each potential site should have an image attached (taken with cell phone or other camera). Minimum of 2 sites need to be visited and documented.