The economy of the future will focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that projects STEM-type jobs will grow to more than 9 million between 2012-2022.
Per BLS: “STEM workers use their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, or math to try to understand how the world works and to solve problems. Their work often involves the use of computers and other tools.”
STEM Application to Indoor Environments
Since STEM seeks to foster interest in science, promoting understanding of science-based factors and metrics that affect indoor conditions and ecosystems could involve labs, life science classes, and related projects.
HFI can make available to schools a supply of Foldscopes, paper microscopes invented by researchers at Stanford University and costing less than a $1 to make, that fit in a shirt pocket and enable viewing microbial species easily in the classroom or elsewhere.
With a lack of existing research on surface-specific organic soil removal outcomes comparing discrete cleaning processes in pK-12 and higher education environments, there is a practical need for developing a pilot framework for a Cleaning Performance Index (CPI) that addresses the rate of soil removal, versus time and cost required for common interventions, beginning with student desktop cleaning (a common touchpoint surface with potential to spread pathogens) and grouted-tile cafeteria floors (which represent a high soil-load surface and cleaning challenge).
The project aims to establish a CPI indicator for four cleaning processes (two for each representative surface type above) integrating data on how much soil is removed, elapsed-process time, and related supply cost, using readily available or commonly practiced methods − in a cohort of five elementary schools or universities − with common surface types, including:
For Grouted-tile Cafeteria Floors
Mop Bucket and Wringer vs. (based on ISSA Data)
Dispense-and-vac technology (based on ISSA Data)
CPI determination would be based on removing organic soil, defined as “soiling of biological origin” using Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) measurement as the metric (although the soil and measurement metric would be different for vacuum cleaners, etc.)
Students could assist with ATP sampling and recordkeeping to arrive at outcomes that are statistically meaningful.
We urge you to submit your entry for the Healthy School Award today. It’s not just a way to be recognized, but to further your progress on the path to healthy and prosperous.
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