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Air Quality & Air Particles

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Kassidy Crown

on 10 June 2014

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Transcript of Air Quality & Air Particles

Air Particles
Air Quality

If I test four locations with three PM catchers at each location over a period of five days for particulate matter, then the location ‘Key Peninsula Highway’ would have the most PM matter because of its heavy automobile traffic levels.
Site Location pictures
Data 2
Close-up on collected data squares
Conclusion Part 1
The results shown above point out that the area with the highest particulate matter after a period of five days was located at the mailbox. The area with the lowest particulate matter was located at the gravel road. This calculates to a range in averages of 92.67. Therefore, the highest area with air particles was located nearby a semi-heavy automobile traffic (nearby 110th Cramer Rd.), but it refutes my hypothesis of the most particulate matter being at the stoplight. I believe this to be so because the mailbox is near a road, and the squares at the mailbox were closer to the road which could’ve made it easier for the particles to land on the Vaseline. Also, the gravel road had the least particles because the squares had to be hanged higher up from the road, making the distance the wind would have to carry the pollutants farther and making it less likely to land on the Vaseline. Or, the particles could’ve not shown up as easily, due to the fact that the Vaseline was close to the same color as the dust and dirt on the gravel road, so any particulates that had been kicked up and stuck may not have been seen.
Kassidy Crown
Key Peninsula Highway
Air quality and the corresponding particulate matter that affects it has daily consequences on the lives we live. Air particulate matter causes many adverse health effects, such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, from the inhalation of particles such as dust and pollen. Thus, it is important to know the quality of the air we breathe, as this experiment tests. Using a homemade milk carton air particulate catcher and Vaseline, the number of air particulate matter over a period of five days was recorded and observed over four locations.
Automobile traffic can also increase particulate matter in the air. One reason is the output of exhaust from tailpipes, another is the overturn of particles (such as soil) from the road into the air. According to an experiment done by the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, automobiles increase their emission of particulate matter after stopping, then continuing, at a stoplight or stop sign (1; Dumé, 2009). This would support the conclusion of more particulate matter would be found at urban and civilized areas, and where heavy-automobile traffic is found.
Conclusion Part 2
The data collected here shows that places with heavy traffic are likely to have more air particulate matter in the air, thus being more likely to cause adverse health effects with prolonged exposure. To improve results in the future, the squares can be tied in better positions to be closer to the same height found at other location sites. However, I was surprised that the stoplight got as much particulates as it did, because the square was far back from the road and up at a fairly high height (so as to prevent people from removing the squares from the tree branches). Further experiments can be done to test whether or not more particulates would be found at the mailbox (where cars just drive continuously past them) or at the stoplight (where cars are forced to stop or slow, then start again.) Or, another experiment could be to test the differences of height on particulate matter found in the air at a certain location.
Data 1
In this experiment, the air quality of a habitat was tested by observing the air particulate matter found over a period of five days at four different locations. Using a homemade milk carton particulate matter (PM) collector that had been smeared with a one-by-one inch square of Vaseline, the quality of air was tested by counting the number of particles found on the Vaseline. The conclusion observed from the data was that the locations closer to automobile traffic had more PM than those in more secluded areas.

Dumé, Belle. "Traffic Lights Boost Air Pollution."
- Environmentalresearchweb.
N.p., 20 Oct. 2009. Web. 08 June 2014. (Research reported in: Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment)

Agee, Sara. "Air Particles and Air Quality."
Air Particles and Air Quality.
Science Buddies, 10 Jan. 2013. Web. 08 June 2014.
The results show that the area with the most particulate matter was the mailbox, and the area with the least was the gravel road. Averaged out, the backyard only had a slightly greater amount of particulate matter on the squares.
One hole punch
One roll of twine (or string)
One pair of scissors
One box-cutting knife
One black permanent marker
One magnifying lens
One twelve-inch ruler
One digital camera
One milk carton (paper/cardboard)
One container of equaline 100% pure petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
One data sheet (labeled with location, including address, and spots for data)
One pencil
Three-Four paper towels
A car for transportation to data collecting sites.
One roll of duct tape.
Required materials were obtained (listed above).
. The milk carton was cleaned thoroughly and rinsed milk, making sure it was dry before continuing.
Using the box-cutting knife and ruler, twelve 3-by-3 inch squares were measured out along the four sides of the carton, then cut out.
Once all twelve squares were cut out, the hole punch was used to make one hole in one corner of each square.
The twine was threaded through the hole, cutting the end connected to the roll with scissors and tying the two ends together in a knot so that the square could be hanged.
Step 5 was repeated for all twelve squares.
One 1-by-1 inch square was measured out in the middle of the milk carton square, and was marked with the black permanent marker.
Step 7 was repeated for all twelve squares.
Four locations were decided on to hang three squares each. Once decided, the black permanent marker was used to write the location on the bottom of each square.
10. A data table was made (the one shown below) with the addresses, locations, and spots for data collection, square numbers, totals and averages shown.
Driving to the locations specified (if necessary), the decision upon an appropriate place to hang the squares was made.
A thin layer of Vaseline was spread inside the 1-by-1 inch square at each location, and any excess Vaseline was wiped off with a paper towel.
Three squares corresponding with the identified location were hung up.
Step 11-13 were repeated for the other three locations.
The squares were left for five days, and each day the weather was checked to make sure it wouldn’t rain. If it had, the squares would’ve been promptly removed and replaced when dry weather came again.
Once five days had passed with decent weather, and returning to the locations with a digital camera, a magnifying glass, and the data table, pictures of the site were taken, then the squares were cut down.
Step 16 was repeated for the other three sites.
Taking pictures of each individual square, the results were recorded for each square at each site in the data table. Totals were added up and averages were calculated and recorded in the data table. A bar graph was made of the averaged results.
If time permitted, the experiment would have been repeated with all new materials at the same locations for even more accurate results.
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