A CIESE Realtime Data Project

Particulate Matter Investigation Particulate Matter Investigation - Air Pollution

Particulate Matter Investigation

 --> What does Particulate Matter have to do with air pollution?

In this activity, you will create your own particulates monitoring cards to collect particulates around the area.

  1. Obtain a Student Worksheet from your teacher. Find the outdoor location in which you would like to hang your monitoring card. Measure the length of string necessary to suspend the card.
  2. Back in the classroom, measure and cut a length of string.
  3. Obtain one colored and one white index card.
  4. Cut out a large square in the middle of the colored index card. (Refer to Student Worksheet for diagram).
  5. Whole punch the center of the card and attach the length of string.
  6. On the front of the card, write your name, location, and dates of exposure.
  7. Cut strips of clear wide packing tape and place them on the card, so that the sticky side of the tape will show from the front of the card. Try not to touch the exposed sticky area.
  8. Place your card in the location you identified earlier.  Make sure that the card is hanging freely.
  9. Each day the card is exposed, obtain and record the average wind speed and direction for the day.
  10. After four days, collect the cards and return them to the classroom for analysis.
  11. Place a white index card behind the colored one to help see any particulates that may have been trapped by the tape.
  12. Use a hand lens or microscope to evaluate the particulates that are present, determining the approximate size and amount on the card.
  13. Sketch your results on the Student Worksheet and answer the questions.
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