By Nic Cronin, Cameron Gleason, Corey McDonald & Tristan Webster
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – With finals week approaching, students are always looking for comfortable areas to hunker down and study for hours on end, and one of the biggest factors when making the decision of where to study is the temperature of the room or area.
Data was collected using Arduino microcontrollers to determine how similar or varying the temperatures were the many study rooms and common areas around West Virginia University’s campus. Arduino is a prototyping platform that can use sensors to collect data such as temperature and output them to a computer. Temperature readings were taken at a number of study areas across campus, mostly in dorms, where students spend a lot of their time, to find in what ways they may be similar or different.
Aside from a few outliers, each building tended to stick with an average temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit with small variations of temperature between each of the floors. Some buildings show a relatively consistent trend with temperatures rising slightly with each consecutive floor up, such as the Towers, while others – such as WVU’s Downtown Library – were a bit more random from floor to floor.
Below is the map of the WVU campus where temperatures were collected.
The blue pins represent buildings where all of the average temperature readings came in below 70 degrees Fahrenheit while the red pins represent the buildings where all of the readings came in above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The green pins mean that the building had both average readings above and below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Click a pin to see more detailed readings for each individual building.
Temperature readings were made among several resident halls on both the downtown and Evansdale campus, as well as in the WVU Downtown Library. On the downtown campus, readings were taken primarily around 12 p.m. at Arnold Hall, Stalnaker Hall, Dadisman Hall, Summit Hall, and Honors Hall. On the Evansdale campus, readings were also taken at the same time at Lincoln Hall, Lyon Tower, Brooke Tower, and Braxton Tower.
Honors Hall currently houses roughly 350 students according to WVU’s housing website. The study area on the first floor of the dorm had an average temperature of 70.14 degrees Fahrenheit, the second floor averaged at 66.8 degrees Fahrenheit, and the third floor’s average was 68 degrees Fahrenheit. When the data was taken at the Honors Hall on March 17, the weather was fairly warmer than the preceding days and this may have affected the temperature readings.
Study area temperatures varied from building to building, with many of the readings occurring alongside different weather patterns. Data taken in Dadisman Hall, for example, showed that the indoor temperatures of common areas were consistent with the outdoor temperature – slightly above 55 degrees on April 4 – while common areas in Stalnaker and Arnold had much higher temperatures than Dadisman.
When asked at WVU’s Downtown Library about the varying temperatures of the many buildings around campus, John, a sophomore student at WVU replied, “The temperatures around campus seem to be pretty random. While I am usually comfortable in most buildings, the temperature can be noticeably different from floor to floor in the same building.” This was a theme that also came out in the temperature readings.
On the Evansdale campus, the different towers showed a relatively consistent trend. Temperature readings showed, in most cases, the temperature rising slightly with each consecutive floor up. Brooke Hall, for example, had a reading of 69 degrees Fahrenheit on the third floor, a reading of 71 degrees on the fourth floor and a 72-degree reading on the fifth. If a student would like to keep cooler, the first few floors of each tower may be better for them.
The overall temperature readings show a couple of things. Besides the rare outlier, such as Dadisman Hall’s reading that came out unusually low, most of the study areas and rooms are relatively consistent temperatures, tending to remain between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, with the hottest temperature of 74.35 degrees recorded on the second floor of WVU’s downtown library, and the coldest temperature of 55 degrees in Dadisman Hall.
When asked his opinion about the temperatures of the many buildings around campus, Michael Godleski, a junior history student at WVU replied, “I usually don’t have a problem with the temperature in the buildings when it’s warm outside. But in the winter when I have to wear heavy clothes, the class rooms can sometimes be way too hot.” It’s possible that some of the buildings’ temperatures may be over compensated for the cold weather leading to over heated rooms, which can be a problem when students are dressed up to brave the winter weather.
The biggest factor that had an impact on temperature changes was the varying weather patterns that the residents and students of Morgantown have become so used to around this time of year. This was particularly noticeable in the case of Dadisman Hall, where weather patterns were significantly colder. In the end, despite unpredictable weather changes, if you’re looking to keep cooler this finals week, the first few floors may be your best bet.
More examples of temperature sensing at work
- Putting the Arduino’s temperature reading function to use.
- Using Arduino (and Raspberry Pi) in beer brewing.