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There's Something in the Air

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, Barbara Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

Let’s Talk About It

This activity allows students to understand how odors disperse in indoor and outdoor air. Students may find that many odors become more concentrated indoors than outdoors.  

As a class, compare the two graphs (information gathered indoors and outdoors) and identify the differences between them. Ask, Did you smell the odor more quickly indoors or outdoors? In which location was the odor stronger? and Could everyone smell the scent in both locations? (In most cases, the scent will be noticed more quickly indoors. However, air currents indoors and breezes outdoors may affect the results. Discuss these variations with the class.)

Prompt a class discussion about how pollutants travel in the air. Relate the results students obtained in this investigation, "Moving Air," to how things travel in air, and how pollutants can become concentrated in indoor environments. 


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Numbers: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932


Houston Endowment Inc.

Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education