Hello! My name is Alicia Clouser and I’m currently a Senior at Coconino High School, a member of team 2486 the CocoNuts, and a recent alumnus from Coconino Institute of Technology (CIT). CIT is a three-year program where students learn physics, chemistry, and engineering principles. For the last year of the program, I had to do a capstone project titled, “Making an Easy to Use Air Quality Outreach Tool for Indigenous Students.”
During the summer of 2022-2023, I attended a 4CSCC computer science workshop where us highschoolers can code a raspberry pi and particulate matter (PM) sensor with a monitor setup. One of the activities was to carry the whole setup and test PM in different parts of the building. Using this activity with high schoolers and college students has been shown to be successful with no casualties. But using this activity on younger students can be more prone to dropping the equipment.
4CSCC wants to be able to use this activity with younger students. So, I decided to make a small handheld device (around the size of a phone) using a Raspberry Pi Pico, an LCD screen, 3D printed box using SolidWorks along with air quality sensors so you don’t have to carry a computer setup and read the data immediately.
At the end of my project, I created a mockup box with holes for the screen and sensors along with new/strengthened my skills. Through the project I was able to learn the basics of Thonny Python, learn to read datasheets, and I learned how to solder. This project also helped strengthen my 3D CADing skills, from making a simple box to now a lattice structure box. The next step for the project is to design it to be the size of a person’s palm using a lattice structure, so the use of holes cut out won’t be needed except for the screen and buttons.