Plant-Based Learning Going into Pilot Phase

After a substantial design and development process, the TEASPILS learning ecosystem for teaching environmental awareness is entering the much-anticipated pilot phase in real-life settings. A number of primary and secondary school classes across Europe will experience first-hand the implementation of potted indoor plants enhanced with modern IoT technology.

The TEASPILS learning ecosystem includes potted plants, an online training platform with essential information on plant-based learning. It also uses a number of internet-based support systems such as the Spike IoT sensor instrument, a dashboard for data visualisation, and a portal for shared learning activities.

Figure 1. Spike showing red alert for poor air quality

Apart from the plants themselves, the Spike instrument is the heart of the TEASPILS system. It comprises two separate soil probes and a number of sensors that measure the state of the soil and the ambient environment shared by humans and plants. It continuously collects and records data about CO2 levels, humidity or temperature and provides direct feedback in the form of a traffic-light colour led bar. Red lights indicate that the data measured reached a critical level. In the case of CO2, this may trigger the airing of the classroom by opening the windows. It also provides for infinite learning activities that integrate plants and their biological interaction with humans in a shared space into ordinary curricular tasks, such as understanding the variety of plant species, photosynthesis, water cycles, data analytics and much more.

There is now a training demo available [currently in German] that inducts teachers in how to use the TEASPILS ecosystem and the Spike in particular.

This short demo facilitates the integration of the Spike in classroom potted plants or simply as an ambient sensor system recording important data that can be used for stimulating environmental awareness.