Study FreshStudy Fresh aims to increase productivity in Queensland schools through ensuring the healthiest possible learning environment. To do this, we run workshops with schools where students build their own indoor air quality (IAQ) sensors, monitor the air quality in their classrooms and learn ways through which they can improve it.

IAQ can be a problem in occupied spaces such as classrooms when there is insufficient ventilation to replace stale air. The trend towards retrofitting reverse cycle air conditioners into classrooms has been vital in improving the thermal comfort of our learning environments, but it can have a detrimental effect on air quality if windows are shut continuously for AC operation. Unlike heat or cool, we can’t always sense poor IAQ until it is bad enough to affect concentration and cognitive performance. Which is why it is vital to measure it. By measuring IAQ in classrooms, Study Fresh intends to start conversations with teachers and students and assist them in negotiating better air quality in classrooms.

So far Study Fresh has engaged over 550 students across 15 schools in hands-on workshops and collected IAQ data from over 40 classrooms. The workshops provide children with a hands-on introduction to simple programming in Python and fit within schools’ Digital Technologies curriculums. The logger deployments have assisted teachers in identifying problematic classrooms and working toward solutions to improve ventilation.

See the Study Fresh feature on p.16 of the Future Learning Magazine

Would your school like to get involved with Study Fresh? Contact Stephen at

UQ Study Fresh interviews from STEMPunks

This project is made possible by the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist Citizen Science Grants.

Get in touch

Dr Stephen Snow

Project members

Academic and Research Staff

Dr Paola Leardini, School of Architecture

Dr Lisa Ottenhaus, School of Civil Engineering

Dr Marie Boden

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Dr Mashhuda Glencross

Senior Lecturer in Computer Science
School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering