Since the start of the Smart Kids Lab pilot at three elementary schools in Amsterdam, the Smart Citizen Kit made its first appearance at these schools. The citizen sensor is able to measure al sorts of environmental factors such as air quality, noise pollution and temperature. We found out it’s great to play around with, although it is sometimes a little bit hard to understand for kids younger than 12 years old. But in the end, the idea of using open-source technology to measure air yourself is brought to the youngest Smart Kids possible!
The idea was to leave the embedding of the sensors in the lessons to the teachers. They are the ones that know best how kids react to this kind of new technologies, and to what level they can work with it. This was quite challenging for teachers to fit in their programme. For kids under the age of 12, the interface of the sensor and platform is still a little bit hard to grasp, but the enthusiasm and interest is there.
When showing the data from the sensor in the school, interesting questions from the kids arose. What is this peak in noise and air quality level? Could it be that this is around the time that the school opens? How is the air quality in the school compared to other ones? While the accurate, calibrated and reliable answers to these questions are sometimes hard to deliver, the sensor brings up questions and the idea of do-it-yourself measurements. And therefore the presence, of the Smart Citizen Kit in schools is a huge step forward. They are children steps, but in the right direction!