Forests toolkit #3 – How is the debate on forests portrayed by the media?

The aim of this activity is to enable students’ engagement in meaningful science-society interaction and the development of critical thinking competence in the area of “Forest use vs. Forest Protection”. It enables students to gain insights into the work and considerations of a journalist and highlight core aspects which distinguish journalism from opinion-makers with different agendas. At the same time, students gain insight into local forest-related issues.

Air pollution #2 – What do we think about clean and polluted air?

The aim of this activity is to develop students’ modelling competence, enabling them to identify their own initial ideas about both clean and polluted air. They are asked to create drawings and written descriptions of how they imagine clean and polluted air, both as seen with the naked eye and in smaller scales.

Air pollution #3 – Building the idea of pollution caused by PM

The aim of this activity is to help students gain an understanding of air pollution that is compatible with its scientific definitions. Specifically, it focuses on the understanding of air pollution as the presence of suspended particulate matter (PM) in the air. Students first analyse which pollutant is usually referred to by the media when describing urban air quality. Then, they carry out a learning lab activity exploring an analogy – they compare the pollution generated by an engine to what happens when a peanut is burned instead.

Air pollution #4 -How is scientific research carried out?

The aim of this activity is to develop students’ critical thinking about what we understand by high-quality research in science. This activity is conducted in two steps: (1) reflecting about different ways of answering a scientific question; and (2) analysing the processes of carrying out research using quality criteria such as: validity, reliability, and usefulness.

Air pollution #5 – Let’s do our research!

The aim of this activity is to develop the students’ inquiry competence. In this sense, students in groups, helped by a specific scaffolding tool, need to plan and carry out their own research about air pollution in/around their school.

Air pollution #6 – Forecasting air pollution in cities

The aim of this activity is for students to learn what the air pollution data collected around their school is useful for. A professional scientist from the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC) explains in a video how real data are collected both in national stations and by citizens. He also discusses how this data is used to make forecasts about air quality in our cities.

Air pollution #7 – Effects of pollution on human health

The aim of this activity is to make students aware of the consequences of air pollution exposure to human health. They also learn about some of the human body’s passive mechanisms that protect us against pollutants suspended in the air. Students analyse how different particles present in the air (such as particulate matter in suspension, dust, CO2…) may penetrate their bodies and which passive mechanisms our bodies use to prevent intrusion.