Particulate Matter: For Your Eyes Only

Air is one of Earth's most precious resources, and we need to take care of it in order to preserve the environment and protect human health. To this end, students develop their understanding of visible air pollutants with an incomplete combustion demonstration, a "smog in a jar" demonstration, and by building simple particulate matter collectors.

After this activity, students should be able to:

  • Identify the two major types of visible pollutants, smog and particulate matter.
  • Explain why air pollutants are harmful to human health and the environment.
  • Build a simple particulate matter collector.
  • Explain how air pollutants are generated during incomplete combustion.
  • Make and analyze a pollutant location map.