Environmental Innovation for Easing Climate Anxiety


The vision for this project was to provide students with concrete, hands-on opportunities to monitor various environmental conditions using technology. Specifically, students will taught how to code with Micro:bits and then were provided with a multitude of sensors so they can devise their own sense and response systems specific to an environmental condition that they feel is important to monitor. Students have been expressing more and more “climate anxiety” around the future of the planet and providing them with a concrete way to monitor conditions will then allow them to consider small changes that anyindividual can make to help contribute to climate action. This project will provide students with the opportunity to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills while also learning about the logic of block-based coding.


With our LSF grant funds we were able to purchase several Air Quality Testing kits and some Gator Bit boards that functioned with some previously purchased sensors for UV, CO2, temperature and particulates. Students were able to use both pre-loaded coding blocks and research their own source code to set up automated sense and response systems for various parameters. Once they set up the systems, they then had to determine how the system could actually help to make informed choices about how to reduce or protect ourselves from the harmful effects from whatever they were measuring.

Reflection & Celebration

The students LOVED the opportunity to code and expressed feelings of empowerment to be able to design devices that would measure things like how much CO2 was in the classroom. The timing also worked out well as we were at the stage in our province when schools were dropping masking requirements – students liked checking on the air quality to see if they felt comfortable about the ventilation in the rooms. Using the UV monitor was a little more tricky as it recorded values in a different way and the students needed to find a converter so that the data was meaningful, but once they did, it sparked some interesting conversations about what UV radiation did and how we can protect ourselves individually from it.

We were able to tag this project onto a larger one we were doing in our Science 9 classes looking at alternative energy sources. Because we were looking at CO2 levels we could connect to how much CO2 is produced using different electrical energy sources and they could calculate how much CO2 they could prevent from entering the atmosphere by choosing something like wind or solar as an alternative. It was a great way to empower students to see how they could make small choices in their own lives that could make a big difference.


4. Quality Education
9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
13. Climate Action
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