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Student project combines CO2 sensor, Arduino Uno

Today’s students need to be prepared for tomorrow’s technical jobs. To help them achieve this goal, Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station, NY hired Fred Feraco, Science Research Program Teacher, to do that job.

Mr. Feraco is the sole Research Teacher at Whitman. His Science Research program brings in mentors from the local scientific community like the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Brookhaven National Labs, and Cornell University to work with students on a variety of projects including robotics, biology, chemistry and more. Mr. Feraco then assists the students with their projects during the school year.

For students interested in climate and air quality, Mr. Feraco reached out to CO2Meter to help with a project measuring carbon dioxide levels both indoors and around the community. However, instead of simply reading and graphing CO2 levels, the students planned to combine CO2 sensors with Arduino microcontrollers in order to add hands-on benchtop electronics and computer programming into the project.

After some initial discussion with our engineers, we supplied Mr. Feraco and his students with K30 10,000ppm CO2 sensors to create data loggers for the research projects.

co2 sensor arduino node red

Starting in the fall, one of the students successfully wired the K30 sensors to Arduino Uno microcontrollers and a battery power supply to make them portable. The next step will be to collect experimental data in several locations. The setups they are testing are:

  • Arduino IDE through a Mac using serial I/O
  • Arduino with NodeRed and IoT
  • Raspberry Pi microcomputer using Linux
  • Raspberry Pi with Python saving to Dropbox
  • Arduino saving data to an SD card via a break-out board

“As I am relatively new to Arduino in general, I have been using the examples from the CO2Meter site to help me get started," a student named Aaron reported. He said that our code examples online have been "a very great help so far.”

Will the project be successful? With several winning science fair projects coming from his students, the odds are in Mr. Feraco's favor. What is certain is that the staff at CO2Meter is excited to be a part of helping the next generation of students get excited about air quality, climate, science and STEM education.

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