|Office of Air Quality
February 24, 1997
This experiment will help us to see how dirty the air really is.
Environmental Essential Elements Across the Curriculum - 75.22 (a) Social/emotional development. (3) Social responsibility. The student shall be provided opportunities to (c) develop emerging awareness of environmental issues.
To check the air for visible pollutants.
Read, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Discuss with children how the smogulous smoke produced by the THNEEDS factory made the Lorax cough, whiff, sneeze, snuff, snarggle, and croak. Talk with students about air pollution produced by cars and other machinery with gas-burning engines, as well as emissions produced by furnaces, fireplaces, factories, and incinerators. Then have the students work with a partner to conduct this experiment to see how dirty the air really is.
Particulate matter is made up of tiny particles in the atmosphere that can be solid or liquid (except for water or ice) and is produced by a wide variety of natural and manmade sources. Particulate matter includes dust, dirt, soot, smoke and tiny particles of pollutants that have attracted an amount of water so small that it does not fall to the ground as rain. Major sources of particulate pollution are factories, power plants, refuse incinerators, motor vehicles, construction activity, fires, and natural windblown dust. Particles below 10 microns in size (about seven times smaller than the width of a human hair) are more likely to travel deep in the respiratory system, and be deposited deep in the lungs where they can be trapped on membranes. If trapped, they can cause excessive growth of fibrous lung tissue, which leads to permanent injury. Children, the elderly, and people suffering from heart or lung disease are especially at risk.
Discuss results of experiment. Ask the students, "Is our air clean or is it dirty?"
Integrated Thematic Units. 1992, Scholastic, Inc.
Clarice Toler, Stephen F. Austin University Nacogdoches TES Course, 1994
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