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Plan C02 Live

As the pandemic began, we covered the maker’s civic response in a series of articles and videos that we called Plan C. As we now expect a gradual return to normal activity, approaching an end of the pandemic, we call this new series Plan CO2 — how we might get back together safely.

The science is increasingly clear about the airborne transmission of Covid-19, which is to say that people spread it through aerosols — droplets suspended in air. Meeting people in closed spaces indoors is riskier than outdoors, and well-ventilated rooms are less risky. Not only can we not see a virus, we can’t really see what’s in the air around us. How do we know if a room is properly ventilated and windows and doors are open long enough?

Join Dale Dougherty of Make: and a panel of makers and experts working on C02 monitoringincluding Guido Burger, Stephan Schulz, and Jeremy Hansonfor discussion and demonstrations of CO2 device monitoring. Show us what you’re working on or learn how to get started. We want to encourage more people, in particular students, to build a CO2 device.

Date: Friday, April 23rd @ 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT. Register to participate on Zoom or tune in on Facebook.

Hand cradling CO2 Device
The homemade CO2 Device

Monitoring carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in an indoor space can provide real-time feedback on room ventilation. You can buy commercial CO2 devices but you can also build your own using readily available components that are familiar to most makers. This is a perfect project for students to build for their classroom. It has all the elements of a sophisticated Internet of Things (IoT) application, even though it is quite simple. You have hardware — a microcontroller connecting a CO2 sensor and some kind of display; and software — you can write the code for this application in a block-programming language in less than 10 minutes. It also produces a data feed that you can log and turn into charts that show the readings over time. 

Read more about Plan CO2 series in our first three articles in the series:

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

View more articles by Dale Dougherty