High School students aim to teach others about air pollution

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High School students aim to teach others about air pollution

Postby Wilberforce » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:26 pm

Keene High School students aim to teach others about air pollution

Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2013 8:00 am


A handful of Keene High School students have become the teachers, aiming to educate residents about air inversion and particulate matter pollution with video public service announcements.

Why does the science matter to teens?

Because particulate matter, caused by burning wood, can causing breathing trouble or permanent lung damage when inhaled. The smallest particles can even enter the bloodstream, leading to heart problems.

And these air pollutants, with diameters smaller than human hair or a speck of dust, are common in Keene in the winter. The city’s valley location causes temperature inversion, where a layer of warm air covers the cool air below it, trapping the particulate matter.

The high school students worked with the Greater Keene Air Quality Working Group to raise awareness about wintertime air quality in Keene. The videos, made by two sections of Advanced Placement environmental studies, describe actions the public can take to minimize wood smoke-related air pollution, focusing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s message to “Burn the Right Wood, in the Right Stove, in the Right Way.”

Air pollution is a unit the environmental science class covers, and teacher Marshall Davenson jumped at the chance to make the curriculum relevant to the students’ lives.

Keene State College graduate student Jeff Pelkey visited the environmental studies classes in February to talk about particulate matter and air quality. He’s been researching the topic with Nora Traviss, an assistant professor of environmental studies.

During that first visit, the students asked a ton of questions and knew lots of facts about winter air pollution. But they didn’t realize it was happening to them, he said.

“At the end of the day, this is a big problem in the Keene area and not a lot of people know about it, so the awareness piece is a big deal,” he said.

The four public services announcements, made by Adam Burnett, Eileen Cormier, Nicole Desilets, Michaela Hurley and Grace Puksta, can be seen on the Greater Keene Air Quality Working Group’s Facebook page. The video with the most “Likes” on Facebook will receive a special recognition “People’s Choice” award. Voting runs through June 14.

Students at The Orchard School in Alstead recently completed a “Dig into Reading” mural that’s on display at the Shedd-Porter Library in town.

The project started early last month, when students were encouraged to think of an insect, reptile or animal they had seen during the spring months. Every student then chose something from that list to research, draw and cut out to paste on the 10-by-9-foot mural.

The Orchard School offers early childhood education and after-school services to children in the Alstead Attendance Area of the Fall Mountain Regional School District. Students of all ages participated, so the level of research and detail varied depending on the student’s level, said Eleanor Elbers, director of after-school programs.

“It’s a very important aspect of learning because it develops children’s sense of community,” Elbers said. “They understand that ‘my contribution is part of something bigger.”

The mural will be in the children and youth section of the library throughout the summer, and students who’ve visited the bookshelves nearby have already been excited to see their artwork on display.

The Orchard School also recently received three grants to support its inclusive arts and ecology-based summer camp program. The school received $2,000 from the Agnes M. Lindsay Trust to provide financial aid for rural youth that have access to limited resources and $500 from the Alstead Conservation Commission for financial aid for qualified Alstead residents. The school also received $1,500 from Monadnock Developmental Services (MDS) to provide paraprofessional support for children with special needs.

Students at Pioneer Junior Academy in Westmoreland learned about ball bearing maintenance and kinetic art during a workshop held in May at the school. During the event, students heard from Massachusetts-based artist Anne Lilly about her design process to take an idea and turn it into an interactive stainless steel sculpture.

Four area high school students received $1,000 for college from the 2013 New Hampshire Red Sox Scholarship program. Hannah Bush from Monadnock Regional High School , Levi Frye from Fall Mountain Regional High School , Anna Topping from Conval Regional High School and Tiffany Winn from Keene High School were awarded at a Red Sox game last month.

The program, in its fourth year and funded through the Red Sox Foundation, chooses students from New Hampshire high schools for their academic performance, financial aid eligibility and commitment to community service. Thirty-five scholarships were awarded this year.

More than 80 students and 24 staff members participated in Fuller School ’s first-ever walk to school day, where students were dropped off at the nearby Keene Recreation Center on Washington Street and walked the half-mile to school on Elm Street. The school aims to hold the event once or twice a year in the future to encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyles.

http://www.sentinelsource.com/features/ ... 0fe33.html
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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