“Union County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state, filled with new developments, traffic, and businesses sprouting up on every corner. One of the concerns of all that sprawl and development is that the once quiet, peaceful rural areas will soon become busy hubs of congestion and air pollution.
That’s why 7th-grade teacher and expert wrestling coach of Porter Ridge Middle School, Stephen Harris reached out to Clean Air Carolina to give a talk to the students during their science class segment on climate and air quality. He wanted to give the students a real-life contact to the professionals who work in the field.
On September 14th, Citizen Science Program Manager Calvin Cupini did three long classes on the basics of air pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Air Quality Index, and Particle Pollution. Then, the students were separated into groups and set out to monitor the air on campus first hand. Altogether, over 150 students took measurements of the fields, walkways and even carpool pickup lines at the middle school.
Following the session, the interested students drilled Calvin on all types of weather, climate, and atmospheric science questions. “What’s happening with the Ozone Layer?”, “How do hurricanes affect life below the surface?”, and “Why don’t we just catch all the particles in the air like a filter?”
Needless to say, the next generation of citizen scientists in Union County are going to be curious enough to be up to the task of improving air quality!”