Truck with Smoke Cropped

AIR POLLUTION IN the Community

Activity 5 (Elaborate): Particulate Matter

in the Community

Expand All

Collapse All

Switch to Dark Mode


Activity Summary

In this activity, students analyze data based on real world studies of the health effects of living near a roadway. Through their data analysis, they are able to make connections between particulate matter and the health of an entire community.

Engineering Note: If students have not done any engineering in this class before, it is worth taking the time to teach them the engineering design process and to do a brief sample activity. Introductory information can be found here. A good sample activity to do with students is the parachute design activity here

Activity Objectives & Materials

Approximate Time: 1-2 class periods (60-120 minutes)


  • Students will analyze data in order to connect particulate matter pollution to health outcomes in a community

  • Students will be able to distinguish between causation and correlation



  • Computer & projector

  • Student computers (optional for graphing)



  • Citizen Science: How Particulate Matter Pollution Affects a Community

  • Graph paper

Standards Connection




1. Frame the Activity


2. Monitors vs. Sensors

3. Introduce the Investigation


4. Community Health Variables

5. Areas of Study

6. Analyzing the Data

7. Graphing

8. Correlation vs. Causation

9. Sensemaking Discussion

10. Question Check-in

11. Formative Assessment: Conclusion


For more information about On the Air 2020, contact:

Rebecca Davis, Education Manager

For more information about Clean Air Partners, check out our website at:

© 2020 by Clean Air Partners.