What To Know When Learning About Air

Ideas for teaching Girl Scouts about air as it relates to the Breathe Journey.

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Learning about Air

The Girl Scout is an organized institution that helps the girl scouts learn about many things in life including learning about air. Learning about air might seem to be too obvious or common knowledge. But, believe me, not many people know much about air. This is the key reason why we have to be very keen when learning about air.

Teaching Essentials

Air is very essential in our lives but most of the people in our current generation fail to acknowledge the importance of this precious commodity that is free from God. When learning about air, we have to be very objective and specific so that we can equip the girl scouts with proper and relevant knowledge.

Discuss Air Pollution

When learning about air, one major topic should be air pollution. There is massive air pollution in the world today. This has led to a lot of misfortunes and catastrophic occurrences to the human race. The rising cases of airborne diseases such as asthma and common cold are all due to air pollution. However, all this is due to the possible lack of understanding that we have about air. This goes a long way to explain the importance of learning.

Enough Knowledge to Change the World

Learning about air is a very wide topic. Apart from just learning about air pollution and its effects to us as human beings, it would also be important for the girl scout guide to teach the girls on some of the things they should do to have clean air and conserve the environment. As the future leaders of this world, girls should have all the knowledge when learning about air so that they can change this world. The girl scouts can learn about the ecosystem and the effects of air pollution to the ecosystem. They can discover aspects of industrial pollution and the green house gas effects caused by the automobiles.

 

Improving Indoor Air Quality – A Solution for a Breathe! Journey

Ideas for Improving Air Quality in the Breathe! Journey for Girl Scouts.

Focusing on a Solution

Now that your girls have researched some of the problems caused by air pollution, it time to get them focused on a solution.  One of the easiest places to start is their own homes.  First, have each girl test the air quality in their home by using poster board squares smeared with petroleum jelly placed in several places in the home.  Let them sit for a week, and then use a magnifying glass to count the particles that have accumulated on the square to get a good idea of the level of particulate matter.

Brainstorming Ideas

Have the girls brainstorm ways to improve their own indoor air quality and create a checklist that they can use to implement the changes.  Some ideas to include:

  • keep floors clean, vacuum often and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter
  • mop after vacuuming to keep down dust as well as leave shoes at the front door
  • keep humidity at 30-50% to keep down mold and dust allergens
  • make the home a no-smoking zone

The girls can use these ideas, or ones they have come up with.

Retesting the Home

Do a re-test of the home in two weeks.  Set out the poster board squares with petroleum jelly and let sit for a week then recount the particulate matter.  Have the girls record and discuss their observations.

Measuring Air Pollution for a Breathe! Journey

More Ideas for Girl Scout Breathe Journey for Cadettes.

Visual Snapshot of Air Quality

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.

Testing the Air in 5 Areas

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).

Creating Testing Samples

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.

Collect Squares & Inspect Results

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.

Girl Scout Reactions

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.

Are your Girl Scouts working on the Breathe Journey? What ideas would you like to share? We would love to hear from you! Please leave your comments!

Exploring Acid Rain for a Breathe! Journey

Ideas for Girl Scout Breathe Journey for Cadettes.

Clean Breathable Air

In the Cadette journey series, the Cadettes focus on the importance of clean, breathable air and learn the science behind air quality and the impact of air pollution on all aspects of our environment.  A great experiment to teach the girls about the hazards and effects of acid rain, a byproduct of a polluted atmosphere, is to produce your own acid rain on a small scale.

Acid Rain

Acid rain refers to a mixture of wet or dry deposited materials from the atmosphere that contain higher than normal amounts of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from fossil fuel combustion.  Most acid rain in the U.S. results from electric power generation. When mixed with rain in the atmosphere, these chemicals form a dilute solution of sulfuric and nitric acid that falls to earth.

Fast Growing Plants Experiment

To see how acid rain affects local plant life, have the girls purchase five pairs of fast growing plants that are indigenous to your local community.  Sprinkle one of each pair with plain water each day and the other with vinegar or lemon juice (which represents acid rain).  Observe the pairs of plants every day and record observations in a journal, then draw conclusions on the effects of acid rain based on the results.

Pertinent Questions to Ask

Some pertinent questions the girls can ask are : What effect does acid rain have on the environment?  What does it do to plants and ecosystems? How does acid rain affect us?  And finally, the girls can begin working on the  most important question:  What can we do to limit or even stop it?

Are your girl scouts working on the Breathe Journey? Do you have ideas to share? We would love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment!

WOW! The Final Step

The Final Step of the WOW! Brownie Journey.

Girls Earn the WOW!

The end of the Wonders of Water journey is reached when the girls earn the WOW! The award represents the lasting change they have brought to their community.

SHARE Efforts

They earn this award through discussion of their SHARE efforts — they can read some of the water promises guests made, show slides of the meeting, or create charts and other visual aids that describe how their outreach impacted the community.

Girls Recognizing Value

Encourage the girls to discuss individual participation and how each girl contributed to the overall project.  It is important that the girls recognize the value of individual AND teamwork in the completion of their journey.

Pride in Leadership

In this grand finale, the girls can take pride in the leadership they have shown throughout their journey and in how their work relates to Girl Scout Law.

Sense of Accomplishment & Confidence

One of the many benefits of taking a Brownie journey is the sense of accomplishment and confidence the girls feel after learning, growing and sharing their skills and education with others.  A great lesson to take from this is that the journey never really ends — learning and growth can continue for a lifetime and so can leadership and advocacy for change!

The Next Step on the Journey — Saving Water

Saving Water in the WOW! Brownie Journey.

Working as a Team

The second step on the WOW! Brownie journey includes working as a team to protect water in the community.  Get the girls thinking about how they can do this and why it is often more powerful to act as a team than as an individual.

News Story Challenge

Challenge the girls to find news stories where an advocacy group has teamed up to conserve water resources.  Discuss how teams coordinate and work together to get things accomplished and have the girls brainstorm a project that will help save water resources in the local community.

SAVE Project

After they have decided upon their SAVE project, they can create visual aids and learn good communication skills in preparation for carrying out their project.  This will help them be confident, clear communicators as they present their ideas — definitely a useful life skills.  The girls also learn teamwork and cooperation and project planning and management skills throughout this step of the journey.

SAVE Award

Finally, challenge the girls to communicate why their project is important and what carrying it out successfully will do for water resources in the community.  The girls earn their SAVE award by carrying out their project and showing an understanding for the type of effect a team effort can produce.

Sharing Water — The Next Step on the WOW! Brownie Journey

Sharing Water in the WOW! Brownie Journey.

SHARE – As A Team

This session — SHARE — helps the girls continue to act as a team as advocates protecting water and keeping it clean in their community.  In this case, the focus is on educating others and inspiring them to commit to loving and saving water resources too!

Girl Planning for Meeting

The girls can plan a meeting to which they will invite guests that they can discuss their projects with.  The idea is for the girls to learn good communication and organizations skills.

Divide your group in to “guests” and “presenters” and let the girls take turns practicing meeting and greeting guests as they arrive and organizing them into groups or in rows.

Show & Tell

Let other girls practice presenting aspects of their SHARE projects and “show and tell” the guests about what they have learned about water.  When the girls have practiced and are confident with their presentation, make invitations and invite your actual guests to your next meeting.

Water Promises

After the girls present, let them pass out papers so that guests may write their own water promises.  Encourage guests to share their thoughts about how the presentation inspired them to take action.  Present positive comments about the meeting and let the girls see how easy it is to educate people and make a difference with a little planning and teamwork!