At a recent fair of educational technologies Bett Ed Tech in London, several Croatian companies won significant awards. One of them, the company Smart Sense from Zagreb, received an award given by students of English schools between the ages of seven and thirteen. As they tell us, this award is especially important to them because it comes from young people.
They got the prize for the presentation of the My Sensees sensor that collects data on the level of CO2, temperature, humidity and particles in indoor spaces, and the Sensees Environment measuring station that, as a rule, collects data on temperature, humidity, the level of 5 types of gases and three types of particles in our environment. The same station is easily expandable with additional sensors such as noise, precipitation, wind, electromagnetic radiation…
As the director of the company explained to us Hana Matanovićthe collected data from both devices is sent to the “cloud”, i.e. the Sensees IoT platform, where it is further processed and displayed to the user via the web or mobile phone.
It’s their reward also came to recognize a current topic that is important to young generations.
– The children’s attention was drawn to the fact that our solution takes care of themselves, of the air they breathe every day for most of their day – points out Hana Matanović.
CARNET chose Smart Sense as a partner in equipping 400 schools in the e-school project. The sensors were delivered to the schools in September, and the first air quality analyzes are interesting.
It dries out the air and consumes energy
– What we notice is that in many classrooms the temperatures are too high in these winter months, which not only dries out the air and adversely affects the students, but also wastes energy unnecessarily. By reducing the heating by just one degree, five percent of energy can be saved – says Hana Matanović.
There is no systematic research
Overheated and unventilated rooms, i.e. the lack of fresh air affect the concentration and sleepiness of both students and teachers, according to the report of the Croatian Institute of Public Health from 2016.
But the problem with assessing air quality in classrooms is that there are no systematic measurements, nor research that could be used to improve conditions in classrooms. As Aleksandra Mirosavljević, president of the Croatian Association of Primary School Principals, tells us, equipping schools depends on the founders – cities and counties. So in richer cities and regions, schools get air conditioners and air purifiers and measuring devices, but in poorer ones they can be happy if they are not heated with wood.
It is important to listen to the experts
– We simply don’t have any relevant data. It would be ideal if the Croatian Institute of Public Health conducted research on air quality in all schools in Croatia, so that a single recommendation could be sent and a system designed for everyone. The air quality is not the same in cities or in rural areas – she points out.
Every school and principal, says Mirosavljević, will do the best they can for their students, including air quality, but it is important to do it systematically.
The company Smart Sense has its measuring stations in around 30 Croatian cities, including Zagreb, Split and Osijek.
– What I can say is that there is occasional air pollution. However, air quality is analyzed over a longer period of time (most often on an annual basis) and the occasional increase in parameters (gases and particles), especially in emergency situations, is not necessarily a cause for concern. In such situations, the warnings of professional institutions should be followed – says Hana Matanović.
But, he points out, the topic of air quality is very complex and the interpretation of air quality should be left to experts from institutions such as HZJZ, A. Štampar, DHMZ and the Institute for Medical Research. Their company, he concludes, with new technologies can enable the profession to collect a large amount of data in numerous locations necessary for relevant interpretation.