“Jugend forscht”: Trio of high school students from the Ulm Innovation Region present “CO2 Checker”

2. July 2021

The team of students from the South Wuerttemberg student research center, located in the Biberach / Ochsenhausen district, who also took second place in the youth research regional competition in the Ulm innovation region, are now in the finals of the federal environmental competition with their “Co2 Checker” project.

A huge success for a school research team from Ochsenhausen: With their project “CO2-Checker” the three high school students Niklas Hornung, Lennart Holland and Fabian Besler qualified for the final round of this year’s federal environmental competition. While many other young people only experienced the pandemic as a disadvantage and limitation, the three young researchers turned it into exciting research. With a self-developed system for measuring CO2, they tried last year to precisely examine the risk of infection in classroom situations. To do this, they first equipped a classroom with numerous sensors and are now monitoring the entire second floor of the school building for CO2 pollution. These are considered to be an indicator of the places where potentially dangerous aerosols collect in the air.

Your results are highly topical for all classes that are now returning to schools. “We found out that the ventilation recommendations of the country are not sufficient, but rather that it is best to ventilate every ten minutes for five minutes in order to adhere to the guideline values,” explains Lennart Holland. The air is also worst in the corners in the front classroom and not near the floor as one suspects. Because the warm air of the breath rises, aerosols would rather collect in the upper part of the room. The young researchers give the all-clear for class tests. Because of the lack of movement, the recommended values ​​are adhered to and there is also the slightest degree of mixing. “A lesson with the lowest possible risk of infection is actually one in which exams are constantly being written,” says Niklas Hornung – “but nobody wants that”.

With their research work, the three young people have now qualified for the finals of the federal environmental competition and were able to present their work to a jury of professors. At this point, however, the pandemic slowed down: In normal times, the three young researchers would have been invited to Kiel for their presentation to present on site – this year the finale could only take place via video conference from the school. Now the three students are waiting for a message from Kiel: In August it will be clear whether it was enough for a podium position.


Niklas Hornung, Lennart Holland and Fabian Besler [Foto: Student Research Center of South Württemberg]