Although miles of suburban sprawl surrounded us, complex environmental processes were constantly occurring all around us. They were just a little difficult to see. I decided to shift the focus of the course from simply “What is the environment?” to, “How do we study our environment?” Using parts primarily from Adafruit Industries, I made an environmental sensor. Temperature, humidity, light level, and ozone concentration data were collected using the DHT22 sensor, a photo cell, and Futurlec’s MQ131 gas sensor. A Boarduino and Xbee got our sensors talking to our school server and a 6V solar panel powered the beast. Everything fit nicely into an Otterbox and some Sugru provided stability and weatherproofing.
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