CoScienza Ambientale (Environmental Consciousness)

Periodically active

from 01/04/2017 until 31/12/2024

In civic environmental monitoring, in-depth knowledge of the instrument used in the surveys is of fundamental importance. The instrumentation is often developed with the support of communities that bring together enthusiasts and experts in open-source electronics and digital manufacturing, such as FabLabs or makerspaces, already present in many Italian and European cities. The same laboratories promote courses and workshops at all levels on instrument construction and civic monitoring. Fablabs host cohesive communities of citizens in which collaborative "making" and the spirit of sharing has allowed the proliferation of "open" technology research and development projects made from free software and low-cost hardware.

For some years, the Wemake fabLab in Milan has been developing tools for civic monitoring of air and water, also organizing in-person and online workshops dedicated to schools and municipal citizens. In some cases the instruments have been intercalibrated with professional ones managed by CNR laboratories, demonstrating that good performance can be achieved with low costs and simplicity of operation, thanks to the collaboration of the world of official research.


The education of citizens in the scientific approach to understanding the environment passes through the practices of measuring and interpreting data. These activities complement the official data collected by the relevant agencies and institutions. This data must be always public. Civic monitoring constitutes in all respects a process of democratization of environmental sciences.

With open source electronic technologies, makers (geek activists) are now able to create small series of instruments equipped with sensors with autonomous power supply and data transmission system even without the presence of WiFi or GSM/GPRS networks. The LoRa transmission technology is used precisely for this function.

Needed equipment

Electronics component as: microcontrollers (Arduino type), sensors, LoRa Tranceivers.

Digital control machines as: Laser-cut and 3D printers

Created Sept. 22, 2023, 7:38 a.m.

Updated Jan. 29, 2024, 9:16 a.m.

Science Topics
Ecology & Environment
Teaching materials available Do-it-yourself
Difficulty Level
Participation tasks
DIY hacking/making
Private sector
Other Organisations involved
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