Did you know that the air in our homes, schools, and offices can sometimes be less healthy than the air outside? In this activity, students will learn about indoor air quality and what they can do about it.
This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:
Home Radon Exposue Suvey
An Invisible Gas
Spanish Student Page(s):
Un Gas Invisible
Investigacion para la Exposicion del Radon en las Casas
Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:
The Power of Trees
For a quick estimate of how trees in your area offset carbon emissions, reduce flood risks, and improve air quality, check out this Power of Trees tool developed by Climate Central. Choose your city from the dropdown menu to quantify the benefits of trees in terms of number of tons of CO2 equivalent removed; number of gallons of storm runoff avoided; and number of pounds of air pollution absorbed. The Power of Trees tool utilizes i-Tree software, developed by the U.S. Forest Service, that measures the impact of trees on many scales. PLT recently developed an accompanying Teaching with i-Tree unit for middle and high school students to discover and analyze the many ecosystem services that trees provide. Students input data they collect in their neighborhood to calculate the dollar value of the benefits provided by a tree, or a set of trees. Educators can download this Teaching with i-Tree unit for free.
Fruit Tree 101 Program
The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation’s Fruit Tree 101 program brings high-quality fruit trees and shrubs, equipment, on-site orchard design expertise and oversight, horticultural workshops, and aftercare training and manuals to schoolyards across the country. By planting fruit trees, students will improve the surrounding air, soil, and water and provide a local source of healthy nutrition. There is no deadline to apply; applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Recipients must be public schools, nonprofits, or government entities that own the planting site, showcase commitment to caring for the trees in perpetuity, have a source of irrigation nearby, and can help coordinate local volunteers to participate on the day of planting.
Chemicals Around the Home
This EPA website lets elementary and middle school students can learn about everyday chemicals found in the home. The website includes information on what to do when a chemical accident occurs in the home, ten frequently asked questions about household products, and a Test Your Knowledge quiz.
US EPA Wastes Website
US EPA Wastes Website is divided into four sections – What You Can Do, Resource Conservation, Hazardous Waste, and Nonhazardous Waste – this EPA website contains information to spark classroom conversations about waste. For example, What You Can Do has categorized resources to help consumers generate less waste in the home, in the community, at the office, in industry, and at the store. In Your Home tells how to make environmentally friendly choices at home by “green scaping” yards and gardens and properly discarding household medical waste, electronics, used motor oil, and more.
EPA tools let computer users “see” air quality information on a virtual globe:
Environmental Justice Video: Reducing Pollution through Organizing
Be inspired by the latest video in EPA’s 20th Anniversary Environmental Justice Video Series that features Penny Newman of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice. Penny’s 5-minute video describes the environmental justice concerns of the Inland Valley communities in Southern California, and the ways local residents are making positive changes to protect the health of their families and neighbors.
Superfund for Students
At this EPA website, students can learn about four different types of hazardous waste (groundwater contamination, surface water contamination, soil contamination, and air contamination) and how to clean up each type. Later, students can test their knowledge of hazardous wastes with the Superfund Scavenger Hunt or Superfund quiz.
EPA’s Radiation Protection Program has launched the RadTown USA website, created to allow middle and high school students to explore radiation- where it is found and how it is used- in four different environments. The website also has Common Core supported content, including the history of radiation protection, ways to reduce exposure risk, careers in radiation protection, and the benefits of radiation.