Seminar - Physics Department

Reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 and flu transmission in the classroom: DIY techniques for assessing and improving indoor air ventilation and filtration

Don Blair, Edge Collective

Tuesday, November 2, 2021: 4:00pm
Hasbrouck 39 (note location) and on Zoom

Category: STEM Ed Institute Seminar

In the last few years, improving indoor air quality has become a major global public health concern.  In this seminar we’ll present both 1) a simple method for assessing a classroom’s indoor ventilation rate using CO2 monitors, with reference to recently published recommendations for mitigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission; and 2) a low-cost, easy-to-build DIY air purifier design that can remove virus-laden particles from indoor air spaces at a significant rate.  We’ll finish the seminar with a ‘live build session’ in which we’ll demonstrate the construction of a DIY air purifier, and use a hand-held anemometer in order to estimate its potential impact on indoor air quality for classrooms of various sizes. Throughout the seminar, connections to STEM pedagogy will be suggested and solicited.

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Bio:  Don Blair is a co-founder of Edge Collective (, a scientific research and teaching cooperative. For the last several years he has worked on issues related to climate, sustainable food production, water quality, and disaster-resilient infrastructure with such organizations as FarmHack, Public Lab, Food+Future, and the MIT Center for Civic Media.  He received a BA in Philosophy and an MS in Physics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

View this event on the Physics Department website