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10 Winning Science Fair Projects That Will Make You Feel Dumb
7 Science Experiments That Changed the World


Air Quality

Background Research
Materials and Equipment
Experimental Procedure
Data Gathering
Grade Level:4th- 7th
Time Required:About 1 day
Materials:Readily available

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Save a juice carton to use for an experiment. Clean and dry the carton thoroughly before use.
  2. Cut the carton into four flat pieces by cutting along the side seams of the carton. Cut each side into 3 square pieces, each piece will be approximately 3 inches long and 3 inches wide. There will be a total of 12 squares.
  3. Using the hole punch, punch a hole in one corner of each square.
  4. Tie a piece of string through the hole to make a loop for hanging the square up, on a tree branch for example.
  5. Make a data sheet to record where you place your squares, and what data you later will collect from them.
  6. Decide on four locations. The locations I chose were a back yard, a busy street corner, a park, a shopping center.
  7. Write the name of each location in the data table.
  8. Using black permanent marker, draw a 1 inch by 1 inch box in the center of the white side (what used to be the inside of the carton) of each square.
  9. Write the name of the location on the bottom of each square and use three squares for each location.
  10. At each location, find a place to hang up three of the collection squares like a tree branch, sign post, light post, or any other safe landmark.
  11. Before hanging each square up, spread a thin layer of Vaseline in the black box in the center of each square with a finger. Hang up the collection square.
  12. Leave the collection squares for 35 days.
  13. After you have waited, it is time to collect your data from the squares.
  14. Revisit each location bringing your data table and a magnifying glass.
  15. Remove the squares one at a time. Each time, use your magnifying glass to count the number of visible particles you see stuck in the Vaseline inside the boxed area. Write the number in your data table.
  16. Proceed to the next square and/or location until you have collected all of your data and filled out the data table.
  17. For each location you will have collected three sets of data, so you will want to average the data to get a better result.

Data Gathering:

Location Backyard Mall Park Ford Rd.
Square 1 28 89 39 128
Square 2 26 96 41 194
Square 3 18 73 63 152
TOTAL 72 258 143 474
Average 24 86 48 158


My hypothesis was that most particulate matter in the air will be found in the mall area than from the street, backyard and park. My results did not support my hypothesis. The Street has the most particulate matter in the air as it is the busiest area and the areas that were not busy had less particulate matter in the air. The street had the highest particulate matter in the air, with the total of 474, the mall came in the second place with the total of 258, the park came in the third place with the total of 143, and the last one was the backyard with the total of 72.



Air and Radiation,

Air Information,

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS),

Indoor Air Quality,

View the first part of Air Quality


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