Another great way to teach the girls about air quality is to do an experiment which provides them a very visual snapshot of the air they breathe. You will need white poster board, scissors, petroleum jelly, string, hole punch, magnifying glass, permanent marker and a journal.
Have the girls decide on five areas where they would like to test the air. This can be inside a home, in a yard, or at another location outside (with permission from the property owner). Then cut the poster board into five squares and draw a slightly smaller square inside with permanent marker. Number each square. Punch holes in the poster board, thread the string through and hang up the squares in the testing areas, making sure to record which number corresponds to which area. Lastly, smear the inside of the smaller square with petroleum jelly.
In a week, collect the squares and using a magnifying glass, count the number of particles that you find in each of the petroleum jelly covered areas. Record your observations.
Have the girls discuss their reactions to the number of particles in the air they breathe and determine what problems breathing in these particles might result in. After they discuss their results, they are ready to move on to the next step in the journey: finding a solution.