A group of high school students is creating a product to tackle the issue of poor air quality in work places.

Junior Achievement is a Manx charity which helps the island’s young people gain the skills they need when they leave full-time education. It helps students create a small business, learn to pitch ideas and formulate an understanding of how the business world works.

Kaizen, a Year 12 team from Ramsey Grammar School, want to study the high levels of carbon dioxide and its negative effects on people’s ability to process information, for example memory and focus.

The team, all 17 years old apart from Ketar Walker who is 16, will sell aloe vera plants to help reduce the levels of carbon dioxide organically as well as indoor air quality monitors.

These devices measure carbon dioxide plus the temperature, humidity, light levels, volatile organic compounds and presence of people in any given room.

Ivo Morrey, secretary to the group, said: ’The importance of this issue came to light during Covid as more people were spending longer hours indoors, so when kids went back to school in England, some schools asked pupils to bring in plants to lower CO2 levels in classrooms.

’We noticed that this problem was being highlighted recently in England and realised the Isle of Man wasn’t tackling this issue in the same way.


’We therefore felt that although there is some CO2 monitoring in schools and workplaces, awareness needed to be raised as tackling this could significantly benefit cognitive function in the school or workplace, so it seemed an obvious project for our team.’

Kaizen will be working with Manx Technology Group, which will act as an advertising agent for their indoor air quality monitors.

As part of this, they can provide access to an online dashboard for customers which presents the data recorded on their device.

Mr Morrey said: ’Data such as this is incredibly useful and can be used to visualise and assess the efficiency of the ventilation in a room, so you can ensure necessary alterations are put in place.

’To put this into context, outdoor levels of carbon dioxide tend to be around 400ppm.

’In a room with adequate ventilation this number rises to around 800ppm.

’However, in most offices and workspaces this number can unfortunately rise to 1500ppm (especially towards the end of the day).

’This can severely affect cognitive function.

’Ensuring carbon dioxide levels are monitored and tracked is therefore crucial for businesses as it helps workers remain alert and efficient.’

According to a Harvard study, after being exposed to 1,400 parts per million of carbon dioxide, cognitive function declines by 50%.

’This is therefore clearly a very important issue, so here at Kaizen we want to raise awareness and also help you find solutions,’ said the secretary.

When asked about the group’s experience with Junior Achievement so far, Mr Morrey said: ’So far Junior Achievement has been a really educational experience.


’Previously we had little knowledge of how businesses interact and operate in the real world because there is only so much that can be learnt from studying business or other social sciences in school alone.

’Learning how to develop strategies for dealing with stressful situations like how to pitch your idea to judges or how to go about organising your team has also been really insightful.’