Outdoor Air Pollution

(Grades 4-12)

Objectives:  Students should be able to
  1. Identify the types of outdoor air pollution, their sources, and their dispersion
  2. Understand gasses and particulates, acid rain
  3. Discuss outdoor pollution abatement
  4. Comprehend the “greenhouse effect”
Major Concept:

Air Pollution

Sources: Point; Non-point

Outdoor Air Pollution
Gasses (SO2, NOx, various other pollutants)
How to measure
Environmental Issues (acid precipitation)
Diseases caused by outdoor air pollution
Allergens (pollen, molds)

Materials for in-class activities:

Drawings of outdoor air pollution sources
Filter paper
Collection pumps
Ozone/NO2 samplers
Chalk with water/vinegar
Rubber bands
Info sheet on air quality standards
Public Health Literacy handout on Biological Pollutants

Student In-class Activities:

Discuss of the major concepts of outdoor air pollution
Collect of particulates using collection pumps
Inspect pollen samples using a microscope
Observe chalk in water vs. vinegar
* Collect dust/dirt on filter paper
* Examine effects of outdoor air on rubber bands
* Utilize ozone/NO2 samplers to test outdoor air
Study respiratory and cardiovascular systems

* These are done over a period of a week or more, and results are discussed at a second visit by EHEP.

Program Enrichment:

Follow-up Activities for classroom or home:
Measure/collect dust in home
Monitor Ozone or NO2 in school
Locate and document pollution sources in neighborhood
Measure pH of water in local ponds or from rainfall
Read about gases, air pollution, diseases
Selected web-sites for student/teacher use:


Program links to: Health, physics, math, biology, chemistry, literacy, technology