What types of particles are present in the air around campus?
How much particle pollution do cars emit?
How can we compare how much particle pollution is emitted by different cars?
TIME NEEDED: 90 minutes
PART 1: Collecting PM in the Air
White paper or cardstock
Petroleum jelly or double-sided tape
Stereoscope or microscope
plastic plates, cups, hot-glue gun (optional)
Option 2: Airborne particulates examination kit
Option 3: High-volume air sampler
PART 2: Collecting PM from Vehicle Tailpipes
Option 1: Socks
White cotton athletic socks
Masking tape and marking pens
Pot holders or heavy gloves
Several cars or trucks
Option 2: Tissues
Stiff white poster board
Box of tissues
TOPICS: particulate matter, vehicle emissions
TYPE: data collection, data analysis
ESSENTIAL STANDARDS for Earth/Environmental Science:
EEn.2.5.5 Explain how human activities affect air quality
Sampling Particulate Matter Activity
In the hands-on activity, students will sample particulate matter around town or campus and compare the results. They will also gather particulate matter from tailpipe emissions and compare different types of vehicles.
Sampling Particulate Matter - Teacher to Teacher Tips
The quick video below has tips for doing this activity from Mark Townley, an award-winning, North Carolina high school teacher. Mark helped develop It’s Our Air and has used each of these activities with his students.
OTHER MODULE 1 (AIR POLLUTANTS & THEIR SOURCES) ACTIVITIES AND VIDEOS
1-7 Sampling Particulate Matter (this activity)