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Inexpensive Air Quality Sensors to Educate about Air Quality Parameters and their Health Effects

Natural Science

2019-04-18

Air quality matters! Globally, 7 million premature deaths each year result from air pollution (World Health Organization, 2012). Recent air quality events, such as forest fires, emphasize that this is also an important issue for Albertans. This project was a contribution to a collaboration between the King’s Centre for Visualization in Science (KCVS) and TELUS World of Science Edmonton (TWOSE) to equip teachers and students to carry out air quality measurements in rural Alberta contexts. The project had four components:

  1. The health effects of air pollution
  2. The parameters used to assess air quality
  3. How best to educate students about these topics
  4. How to select and use inexpensive air quality sensors to support these initiatives

Major outcomes from the project were:

  • The review of lesson plans for grades 4, 7, 9, and 12
  • Selection, assessment, and a guide for the use of the PocketLab Air sensor
  • Construction of a website for the lesson plans and teacher resources
  • Support of teacher workshops.

This research will continue as a partnership between KCVS and PocketLab with the goal of producing 12 lessons that utilize the PocketLab Air to explore air quality and the science of our atmosphere.

Dr. Peter Mahaffy

Professor, Chemistry P: 780-465-3500 Ext. 8043
Education
  • PhD Organic Chemistry, Indiana University, 1979
  • BA, Dordt College, 1974

Daniel Krol (B.Sc. '19)