SUMMARY: People are often worried about children being exposed to WiFi radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in the classroom, especially when many children are simultaneously downloading or uploading something on their laptops as part of the lesson. This study went to 23 different schools in Australia and measured the strength of the radiofrequency from WiFi in the classrooms. The results showed that even when actively being used by many students, the exposure was much lower than the guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Even combined with radiofrequency from cell phones, TVs, and other electronic equipment, the total exposure was still well below the ICNIRP limit.
LESSON COMMENTS: This experiment is a good example of scientific method and can be easily replicated (with the right equipment or modified) in the classroom. The topic of using WiFi and electronic equipment will be familiar to students so it’s a good way to introduce the concept that all electronic devices produce some kind of electromagnetic field. The graphs are easy to understand and can be the focus of the lesson for younger students or those who need more visual aids.
Karipidis, K., Henderson, S., Wijayasinghe, D., Tjong, L., & Tinker, R. (2017). Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields From Wi-Fi in Australian Schools. Radiation protection dosimetry, 175(4), 432–439. doi:10.1093/rpd/ncw370