How to measure air pollution for a science fair project

Written by alicia bodine Google
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How to measure air pollution for a science fair project
Kids can learn about air pollution by performing an experiment. (air pollution image by loooki from

Air pollution has become a big problem. Children will not understand the effects of air pollution unless they can physically see it. Measuring the air pollution in certain areas will help children recognise the amount of dirt and particles they are breathing into their lungs when they enter those areas. This can spark an awareness in children so that they will do their part to eliminate as much air pollution as possible.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Poster board
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker
  • Hole puncher
  • Yarn
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Magnifying glass

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  1. 1

    Cut one large poster board in to four equal squares.

  2. 2

    Use a permanent marker to write the location where you plan to put each of the four squares across the top of the square. For example, you may write "home" on one poster board and "bus garage" on another.

  3. 3

    Punch a hole out of the top centre of each of the poster boards, and string a piece of yarn through it. Leave enough room to make a loop to hang the poster board, then tie a knot.

  4. 4

    Draw a medium-sized square in the middle of each of your poster board squares. They must be exactly the same size to make the experiment fair.

  5. 5

    Cover the inside of that medium square with petroleum jelly.

  6. 6

    Hang your poster boards up in the location that is written on them. Wait five to seven days, and then go pick them up.

  7. 7

    Examine which places had the most air pollution by using a magnifying glass to count all of the particles that collected on the petroleum jelly squares.

Tips and warnings

  • You can perform the same experiment by putting tape on the end of a stick. Then count the particles on the the tape.
  • Make sure you have permission to put your poster board up in areas outside of your home.

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