It's Our Air - 1-7 Sampling Particulate Matter

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS:
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

MATERIALS:

PART 1: COLLECTING PM IN THE AIR

PART 1: COLLECTING PM IN THE AIR

Worksheet (included)

Option 1:
White paper or cardstock
Permanent marker
Straightedge
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

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
Meter stick
Box of tissues
Scissors
Ruler
Tape

TOPICS: particulate matter, vehicle emissions

TYPES: data collection, data analysis

NC 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.


 

BACK TO CURRICULUM PAGE

OTHER MODULE 1 (AIR POLLUTANTS & THEIR SOURCES) ACTIVITIES AND VIDEOS

1-1 What Is Air?

1-2 Combustion and Combustion Equations 

1-3 Parts Per Million

1-4 The Criteria Pollutants and a Closer Look at Ozone 

1-5 NC & Local Sources of Air Pollution

1-6 Making and Using Ozone Indicators

1-7 Sampling Particulate Matter (this activity)