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Learning through experience: Polish students will experience the air quality in their area

The new educational aid will enable students to experimentally measure air pollution and learn about the impact of smog on health. The “Air Quality” module was created in cooperation with the National Environmental Protection and Water Management Fund, the Polish Smog Alert and the Copernicus Science Center.

The main objective of the classes with the new tool is to introduce students to the topic of air pollution, especially dust pollution. It can be measured with the equipment included in the kit. The tool also allows students to work with the research method like real scientists.

How does the Air Quality unit work?

The kit includes a microcontroller with a dust sensor and elements necessary to operate these devices and perform experiments. There is also a brochure for teachers.

The textbook contains texts explaining air pollution-related phenomena and experiment scenarios as separate cards for students and teachers.

The group also allows students to learn about the method of measurement and methods of data collection and analysis. As the National Environmental Protection and Water Management Fund wrote, this supports the development of digital competencies.

Teachers receive ready-made modular tools that enable them to conduct modern classes using the research method. Similar to the way scientists work, this method develops the key competencies for the twenty-first century, needed to operate effectively in the world and deal with the increasingly complex challenges posed by contemporary reality.“- says Robert Vermhofer, Managing Director of the Copernicus Science Center.

What will students learn from the Air Quality module?

The issues raised during the chapters answer the following questions: What does poor air quality mean? Is the smog outside our window the same smog that persisted in London in the 1950s? Where do dust pollutants come from and what is meant by low emissions? Why do airborne particles negatively affect living organisms?

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Read more: PIE: The external costs of smog reach PLN 111 billion annually

Building awareness of the problem of air pollution is very important because it allows you to see inconveniences that go unnoticed and take action to help prevent them. We want the younger generation to be able to recognize and respond to threats in the environment correctly. This is why we have joined the Air Quality Project in the Modular Nature Workshops” — says Ewa Lutomska, vice president of Krakow Smog Alert.

Why is clean air important?

The proper development, quality and life expectancy of people and other living organisms depend on the cleanliness of the air. So-called phenomena Low emissions and smog are visible effects of human activity at the expense of the environment and human health. Their formation is mainly affected by non-environmental heating systems in our homes, pollution from industrial facilities, as well as car exhaust fumes containing harmful gases and dust pollutants.

The National Trust wants to draw the attention of the younger generation to air protection issues and support schools and local governments in implementing environmental education. For me, as a scientist, it is also very important that it be a proposal for a modern method of education, which is mainly based on independent learning about phenomena that occur in nature – through observation and experiment “ – says the professor. Maciej Chorowski, President of the National Environmental Protection and Water Management Trust.

Module “Air quality. Dust pollution study” was developed by an interdisciplinary team of experts at the Copernicus Science Center. It was created in cooperation with the Polish specialists Smog Alert. It will be available to schools in the Copernicus Science Center distribution from June 2021.

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This form is intended for teachers and students of primary schools, grades six through eight. It can also be used for teaching in secondary schools. The originator of this educational assistance is the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.

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