Empowering the Next Generation with Citizen Science
The Agency has worked with Interim CDA's Wilderness Inner-City Leadership Development program (WILD) to teach students about air quality, how pollution can impact your health and solutions to pollution. The latest partnership activities involved our Air Monitoring Lead showing students how to read portable air monitors so they can use a citizen science approach to their community's air quality.
The Agency uses a range of tools to measure air quality, including handheld portable monitors. One way that we use these tools is to share them with youth groups in our focus areas, so that young people can experience monitoring air pollution on their own. We loaned the WILD program three Dylos 1700 air particle counters so they can analyze and learn more about monitoring air quality.
We have also been engaged with senior citizens in the C-ID community to teach them ways protect themselves when air quality is poor. One way an elderly resident can immediately improve their air quality is by using a simple fan with a furnace filter attached to recirculate and filter air in their home or apartment. We hosted a do-it-yourself filter-fan workshop with WILD in that past. The students will now verify the efficacy of these filter-fans work by using the Dylos monitors as a tool while they visit with senior citizens and also raising awareness about air quality.
We started the day with teaching students about what the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency does and the importance of clean air via air quality jeopardy.
The students learned about Agency programs, sources to pollution, health impacts of poor air quality, and resources on how to increase air quality.
Our air monitoring lead taught the students how to read portable air monitors. The Dylos monitor uses a true laser particle counter technology to provide a particle count for a small particle bin, and a large particle bin. The small particles provide a count (# of particles per unit volume), which roughly track with fine particulate monitors in our core network. The large particle counter provides a count of larger particles like dust or pollen (# of particles per unit volume).
The student then examined the air and results of the air monitors when a filter fan was being used to see the difference.
The agency hopes to empower the community to work together to find solutions to reducing pollution where sensitive populations breathe while also fostering the next generation with resources and knowledge to be agents of change. We hope to continue this partnership and look forward to the future opportunities.