Comprehensive coverage

breathing around

The Maal'a group, founded by Technion students, developed a balloon that is a flying and mobile platform for measuring air quality at different altitudes.

The meteorological balloon of Maal'a - the engineers of the future for the environment at the Technion. Photo: Technion Spokesperson
Maal'a meteorological balloon - the engineers of the future for the environment at the Technion. Photo: Technion spokespeople

On one Wednesday, during the lunch hour, hundreds of Technion students gathered around a large green balloon that was floating in the air above the center of the campus. This attention was exactly what the members of the Maal'a group sought to achieve. "The balloon, or by its official name HIGH-AIR, is our first project," explains Uriel Keller, the group's founder.

"This is basically a flying and mobile platform for measuring air quality at different altitudes. The height of the balloon is at the discretion of the operators, and it allows measuring the level of pollution in different locations and at different heights. We demonstrated this platform here at the Technion, but it is of course suitable for any place where we want to monitor air pollution in a quick and simple way."

The MAAL group (Future Engineers for the Environment) was established in January 2014 with the aim of harnessing the knowledge learned at the Technion for the benefit of the environment. Keller, a student in the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, approached his fellow students in the faculty with a proposal to form the group, and the response exceeded all his expectations. Practitioner Oz Kira referred them to Professor David Brodai, a faculty member in the faculty and director-TCEEH of the Center for Excellence in Environmental Exposure and Health at the Technion - who responded to the initiative with enthusiasm. The group quickly expanded beyond the boundaries of the faculty, and today it numbers about twenty students from various faculties at the Technion. Young researchers and faculty members in the Environmental Engineering, Water and Agriculture Unit were roped in to accompany the group in the professional aspects. "Our goal is to bridge research and engineering to community and society," explains Keller, "and this is through a green student community at the Technion, which will work for the environment and improve environmental awareness based on the scientific and engineering knowledge of its members."

The group's second project, AIR-CLASS, investigates the correlation between the air quality in the educational space and students' learning abilities (concentration, etc.), and this through an application that collects data and displays it in real time. "In order to connect all students at the Technion to the experiment, we are conducting it in the Ullman building, and we hope to bring it later to schools, as a scientific and environmental educational activity."

Ma'ala activity - the correct pronunciation is Ma'ala - is, as mentioned, a student initiative, carried out by its members on a completely voluntary basis. "This is an activity created out of friendship. As far as we are concerned, it is open to all students, and we have already discovered that it is precisely students who are not from the field of the environment who bring fresh and original ideas with them. We invite new members to join, and promise them an opportunity to enrich their school years and prepare for the work that will follow them. Organizations and business entities are also invited to cooperate with us and promote the public good together."

Leave a Reply

Email will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismat to prevent spam messages. Click here to learn how your response data is processed.