ASU Prep students create air filtration system to keep kids in school and COVID-19 out

Arizona State University Preparatory Academy students are working on a project to keep kids in the classroom and COVID-19 out by patching together a prototype air filtration system.

A filtration system was put together by ASU's COVID-19 Case Investigation Community Response team. 

"What it means to us, is the added protection in the air," says ASU Prep teacher Lisa Winghart. "It's filtering out at a rate of 600 cubic feet per minute of clean fresh air in this classroom, and it takes out about 85% of the viral load."

As COVID-19 continues to spread, Dr. Megan Jehn, an associate professor of epidemiology at ASU, says these filtration systems could be a game-changer. She says they're fairly inexpensive to make – and above all – effective.

"They have been shown to work as well as some of those really expensive HEPA filters at a fraction of the cost, so it's a really great mitigation strategy that we can do to try and keep kids learning safely in the classrooms without a lot of disruptions from illness and absences," Jehn explained.

Winghart says her students say their own project is bringing them peace of mind.

"The students love it. Being that this is a science classroom, it's science-focused. We talk about how it works and it means a lot to them because they know that when we're in this classroom, the air that's circulating in here is virus-free, for the most part. 85% of the viruses that are in the air are filtered out," Winghart said,

Jehn and her team say their goal is to get these filters into more classrooms.

More information on the filters can be found here.

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