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March 18, 2019

Young citizen scientists assist in Salt Lake City air quality research

Middle and high school students in Salt Lake City are helping scientists and the community better understand particulate matter pollution, which typically appears as a haze over the city in the winter. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), University of Utah chemical engineer Kerry Kelly and a team set up the partnership for outreach and education, as well as research. Acting as citizen scientists, the kids measure air quality with low-cost sensors in various areas around town, including their homes and schools. In school, they construct simplified sensors out of building blocks to learn how they work.

The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1642513, Community Network to Understand Air Quality and Sensor Reliability.

Credit: National Science Foundation

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