Seasons of Service

Learning Festival Activities

Show Learning Festival visitors how to test water for fecal coliform bacteria, dissolved oxygen or to how conduct a soil pH test, etc.

Here is a short and fun activity that students can demonstrate:

How Many Dust Particles Are in the Air?

  1. Dust is created by natural materials such as soil and pollen as well as from air pollution such as car exhaust fumes. Too many air borne particles can cause health problems such as asthma and allergies.
  2. To find out how much dust is in the air around school you can make a simple dust collector. Get a microscope slide or plastic sheet and rub a tiny amount of Vaseline onto the front surface. Walk around the school or your home for 5-10 minutes with the "dust collector" facing the front so it will collect the air born particulates.
  3. Examine the dust collector under a microscope. Place a cover slip or 1 centimeter square of acetate on top of the Vaseline and dust. Count all of the dust particles that you see under the 1 square centimeter. See if you can distinguish between the particles and identify hair, pollen, soil, ash, etc. Compare the dust from different areas such as in a nearby park and by a roadside. Which dust collector has the most dust particles? How does the air quality compare between the collection sites.

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