The PocketLab Air Sensor

Introduction

The PocketLab Air Sensor is a fantastic tool for investigating the validity of fluctuations in climate and air pollution in your own community.  As a result, teachers can offer students an instrument to measure what’s in the air  (i.e., CO2, ozone, and particulates) for a reasonable price of $298.00.  

With wireless sensor technology, the PocketLab Air can measure a variety of different variables: carbon dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and light.

The small size of PocketLab sensor is convenient to take on the go for experiments, and it stores a large amount of data, which can then be shared with the free PocketLab “app.” When both the “app” and PocketLab device are working as one simultaneous unit, scientists of all ages can generate experiments that reflect the current state of the world around them.

The PocketLab Air, one of four PocketLab devices, is created for users as young as fourth grade students to act as weather professionals. Moreover,  it’s a sophisticated enough instrument for researchers of climate and air quality to use in the field.

One of the greatest features is that the device can be used to collect data with an iPhone, iPad, or Android devices via Bluetooth 4.0; making the PocketLab Air easy to use for scientists of all ages.   

Image 1: The PocketLab Air Sensor

Additionally, the PocketLab Air sensor has the ability to integrate data with CloudLab Science Notebook, which stores and organizes all of the collected data into a single software program.

Once you are ready to begin taking measurements, it’s crucial to make sure the battery is fully charged before launching the PocketLab Air into action.

To do this, simply take the orange micro USB cord that is included with the PocketLab Air and plug it into the sensor. The USB cord can then be plugged into a computer or another device that is compatible with USB ports. Charging the PocketLab Air takes approximately 60 minutes for a full charge.

Once charged, users can follow the directions in the PocketLab Air “Getting Started Guide” by  downloading the free “app” and connect the PocketLab sensor to their chosen device, e.g., iPhone, iPad, etc.

For more information and instructions regarding the PocketLab Air, click on the following link: https://www.thepocketlab.com/store/pocketlab-air.

After the PocketLab Air is paired with a compatible device, the user will be prompted to grant access to the camera and microphone. Enabling access to the camera and microphone allows users to “record up to 30,000 measurements to the on-board memory.”

Also, the “app” allows users to toggle between the six sensors in the device, change the points/second feature, and seamlessly move between units of measurement. In addition, an excellent feature is that as real-time data is collected, it’s possible to compare measurements taken by different sensors.

Once the user becomes acquainted with the “app,” they can adjust the sensors and take measurements.  Every time a sensor is purchased from Myraid Sensors, a series of four getting started activity cards are included and are helpful to get acquainted with the device; especially in the early design stages of an experiment. Hence,  information is available about ozone, carbon dioxide levels, particulate matter, and air quality index.  

Essentially,  these cards outline how the PocketLab sensor can assist the user in recording data related to whatever experiment they are designing. Moreover, uers can reference the cards via the instruction manual tab located at: https://www.thepocketlab.com/educators/resources

Image 2: PocketLab Air Instruction Manuals  


  
Video 2: A Day in the Life of the PocketLab Air

Keep in mind that when taking measurements, the gas and weather sensors need time to settle in that subtle changes in the environment may take the sensor up to 10 minutes to fully adjust. In other words, you need to be patient and take your time when using the PocketLab Air sensor.

Overall, we found the PocketLab Air sensor to be an excellent fit for science teachers to put into the hands of their students. Undoubtedly, it is a standards-based device that offers students authentic learning opportunities to conduct research in their communities and beyond.

What’s Included

• 1 PocketLab Air Sensor

• 1 Protective Carrying Case

• 1 Set of Getting Started Activity Cards

• 1 PocketLab Air Sensor Sticker

• Dozens of Lessons and Activities

• Micro USB Charging Cable

Classroom Resources

https://www.thepocketlab.com/educators/lesson-plan-directory

https://www.thepocketlab.com/educators

https://www.thepocketlab.com/pocketlab-air

PocketLab Air Demo

Specifications

• Wireless Connection: Bluetooth 4.0

• Battery: Rechargeable via micro USB

• Battery Life: 24 hours (wireless, full data rate)/ 3 days (intermittent measurements)

• Wireless Range: 250 feet (76 m) range

• Dimensions: 4 x 2.5 x 1.3 in (10 x 6.4 x 3.3 cm)

• Weight: 142 g (5 oz)

• Memory: 30,000 data readings

* For specific sensor specifications, check out the following link! https://www.thepocketlab.com/store/pocketlab-air

Cost

$298

About the Authors

Edwin P. Christmann is a professor and chairman of the secondary education department and graduate coordinator of the mathematics and science teaching program at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. Marie Ellis is a graduate student at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.

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