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6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Health

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus




Air Strips Lesson Plan

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  • In this activity-based lesson plan, students will make air strips to collect particulate matter samples in locations around the school. 
  • Students will analyze the particles they collect and make observations about the airborne particulate pollutants. 
Teaching Tips


  • This activity is easy to do and uses common materials. 
  • Students will have the chance to visualize the particulate matter that pollutes the atmosphere.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This activity should last the duration of two standard lesson periods.
  • Teachers will need to gather the materials needed for the activity.


  • Students can work in groups or pairs to foster teamwork.
  • Students could discuss why particulate matter data is important and how it can inform decisions such as where to build a playground or where to put a hospital.
  • Other resources on this topic include this American Lung Association article on particle pollution, this Khan Academy video on the health risks associated with pollution, and this PBS video on understanding the atmosphere.

Scientist Notes
This presents an activity to enable students to check air quality in their environment by using an air strip model to collect particulate matter. As specified in the resource, establishing a control point is a good method to investigate the amount of particulate matter in their area. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
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