Fall 2020 Design I Final Competition

Section H: The Covidiots

Problem Statement: How might we efficiently sanitize classrooms within a limited time between class sections? Providing a sanitization method that can bring back in-person classes.

Team Members: Sierra Schlussel, Reagan Clay, Riley Prichard, Cody Wylie, Traeton Burmeister

Instructor: Cara Juergensen



    • Unique idea and great video. I have a couple of questions:
      1) How will the mat affix to the desk?
      2) Not all desks are the same size. Elementary school desks are significantly smaller than high school desks. Will the sanitization unit be able to accommodate different size mats?
      3) White boards are typically adhered to a composite base. How will that composite base respond to the moisture of the disinfectant?
      4) What is the weight of each mat
      5) In K-12 cell phones are discouraged or prohibited in the classroom. What will the benefit of the QR code be in promoting cell phones in the class room?
      6) The chair is equally contaminated as the desktop surface. What will be the strategy of the chair?
      7) Disinfecting foggers are commonly used in classrooms. What is the advantage over foggers?
      8) How much of the prototype did you physically build and test?

      • 1) As the mat is not meant to be a permanent installation to any desk, which would only commute the risk of fomite transmission to the mat, mats are meant to rest on the desk during the class period to be placed in the sanitizing unit between classes. There would be no fixation of the mats to a desk.

        2) The provided dimensions of the sanitizing unit will accommodate mats sized for a high school desk. Mats sized for an elementary school desk will pose no issues fitting within the unit.

        3) Since melamine is a non-porous material, exposure to moisture is not a risk to the mats.

        4) Each mat weighs approximately 1.5 pounds.

        5) With the increasing integration of technology in the classroom, the use of QR codes on the mats does not encourage or promote prolonged cell phone usage during class time, but rather capitalizes on an already existing trend. In fact, our stakeholders expressed no concerns or opposition to using the QR codes.

        6) Sanitizing chairs was not within the scope of our product idea. The majority of students and teachers are not currently cleaning chairs with high frequency due to a lack of respiration, coughing, or sneezing on chairs as opposed to the desks. Our primary focus was on the working surfaces of school desks.

        7) Disinfecting foggers are used most often at night because of the requirement of an empty room to prevent any inhalation hazard. For foggers to be used during the day, class time would still be lost to allow operation while students and teachers stand in a crowded hallway. The mats, however, reduce the risk of transmission during school operating hours while minimizing lost class time.

        8) To see how much of the prototype was built and tested during product development, we ask that you please refer to the website shared above and below. There is a complete demo video posted on our website, along with additional information not made available during the presentation. Thank you.

  1. Good work Covidiots! Congrats on getting to the final competition! I have a few questions for you:

    1) How often do you recommend that the mats get sanitized?

    2) Have you tested the timeliness of this system versus the current standard? How does yours benefit the classroom setting?

    3) Have you considered classrooms where students sit at table or other non-standard desk arrangements?

    4) What are the benefits of the mats as opposed to using individualized notebooks or iPads for the students? Would you envision marketing your box as a cleaning system without the mats?

    • 1) We recommend the mats get sanitized between each individual use. For grades 6-12 this would mean between passing periods and for grade k-5 during any recess or lunch break since they wouldn’t be switching classrooms throughout the day.

      2) We have tested the timeliness of our system. Currently teachers are students accumulate over 20 minutes of sanitation time throughout a day according to a survey that was conducted where over 40 K-12 teachers responded. With the smart mats system if one were to still only sanitize between passing periods like they are currently doing, the total time would be approximately 6 minutes.

      3) We have considered non-traditional desk arrangements. For tables we will still suggest to customers to buy the standard 18″x24″ because this provides a large enough area to ensure that a student is never touching anything other than their mat. The nice part about our manufacturing process is it will be very easy to do custom orders and change the size of our mats since the mats will be cut out of large sheets of melamine and then rubber soles will individually be adhered to the bottom to keep the mats from sliding

      4) The benefits of the mats is we can ensure a students notes or homework are constantly with them in the cloud. No longer will students be coming in with crumpled up homework papers, binders that look like they are exploding, or the excuse that they forgot their homework paper somewhere else. This connection to cloud learning will also, during the pandemic, allow teachers to still require students to turn in work without having physical contact with their students. I can’t envision it without the mats because we have no idea how much longer this pandemic will really last. With these Smart Mats though, schools will be able to enhance their classroom even after the COVID 19 scare.