Children seated at tables in classroom. Girl in blue jumper puts hand up. Teacher is smiling at the front of the room.

Seeking UK schools to monitor classroom air for health and sustainability

Over 1000 schools have already joined the SAMHE (Schools’ Air quality Monitoring for Health and Education) research project. Now scientists are hoping to recruit 500 more! Schools can self-register on the SAMHE website to receive a free indoor air quality monitor linked to an interactive Web App, enabling teachers and pupils to view and investigate data on classroom air quality.

SAMHE (pronounced ‘Sammy’!) is an exciting citizen science project which brings together scientists, pupils and teachers across the UK. Poor air quality impacts pupils’ health and attention levels, so it is important it is monitored and understood. By analysing data from a large number and variety of schools across the UK, researchers can clearly understand schools’ air quality, ultimately leading to better national policies and practice.

SAMHE is completely free. Schools get a high-spec air quality monitor that measures carbon dioxide (CO2), total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), particulate matter (PM), temperature and relative humidity. The monitor sends this data to the SAMHE Web App via WiFi.

Teachers and pupils can use the Web App to view the data in a range of interactive chart and graph formats and see how air quality changes over the course of hours, days or weeks and months. The App also offers a range of curriculum-linked activities and experiments using the data, creating opportunities for pupils to be scientists and do hands-on experiments.

SAMHE enables pupils to interact with real world data about their immediate environment, gives them agency to take informed action and offers an opportunity to collaborate with scientists and contribute to important research.

The SAMHE monitor and app have provided our Y4/5 science group with a wealth of data to interrogate and analyse. The children’s enthusiasm has been infectious and there is tangible excitement at being able to access the data in real time at home.’

Elangeni School, part of SAMHE Pioneer Schools programme

Please encourage schools you work with to join the SAMHE project!

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