In 2009 Dr. John Birks, an atmospheric chemist, began involving students in air pollution monitoring. Over the years the monitoring technology has evolved, but the basic premise has stayed the same – that students want the power to collect and share air pollution data. This student interest lead to the birth of AQTreks and the PAM, which were developed under a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
AQTreks gives participants the ability to measure air pollution wherever their imagination takes them - from the top of a mountain to the boiler room of their school. AQTreks connects you to your environment in a whole new way, as participants begin to see daily occurrences as data gathering opportunities, like a particularly stinky truck driving past, or a car driving down a dirt road.
One PAM can transmit real-time data to over 100 smartphones via Bluetooth, allowing an entire class to actively participate in each Trek. The AQTreks app displays the data in maps and graphs and automatically uploads the data to the AQTreks database. When online, participants can view and analyze their data, along with Trek data from other schools around the country. Participants can also communicate and comment on each others’ data.
We are thrilled to offer AQTreks and cannot wait to see the incredible data from around the country!