This owl is not only an adorable DIY project, but a practical air quality monitor. Posted by Team Oizom (Anith Patel and Sohil Patel) on Hackster.io, AirOwl uses an Arduino 101, a dust sensor and Adafruit Neopixels to reveal air quality. Data is displayed in three ways—through a mobile Blynk app, the color of the owl’s eyes and within Arduino’s serial monitor. Of course the eyes are most fun, enabling you to get an instant read from a distance. Green=safe environment, Blue=take care and Red= danger.
The app is easy to put in place and uses BLE to bring data into gauges for the different particulate matter types. The team has placed instructions for setting up the app on their project page, as well as links to Github for the owl design files, PCB files and code. This project won 3rd place (student) in Hackster’s Earth Day: Planet Pulse contest. For any teacher incorporating STEM education, this would be a great project to build and monitor throughout the year, especially if your classroom has windows that open. Even if you don’t have the capability to produce the pro owl design, you could still work with cardboard and opaque paper to create a similar look, paired with the breadboard version of electronics. Sending big high fives to Team Oizom for creating a project that is well suited for classrooms and citizen scientists.