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Ozone in Our School Zone

Organization(s):Sherrard Middle School
Student(s):Katyn Seidler, Kaylee McMullen, Abby Mason, Faith Grimm, Hannah Hill, Lori Johnson, Abbey Bauer, Bryanna Brookover, Trey Miller, Jacob Nelson
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Educator(s):Kelly Carter
Report Type(s):
Protocols:(Protocol Deactivated)
Date Submitted:05/31/2013
After observing a marked increase in natural gas drilling in our area, we decided to research the effects of natural gas drilling on the ozone at our school. The most noticeable impact of the drilling is an increase in natural gas related traffic. We decided to count number of gas related vehicles driving by our school and compare them with the surface ozone levels at our school. To prepare we researched hydrofracking, atmosphere and ozone, and and discussed ways they could be related and effects on health and the environment. We found a study that is run by a local health department that is sending atmospheric data to West Virginia University and they are studying the health effects of fracking wells on local health. We invited the Doctor to speak to our class and learned more about the possible health effects. We made ozone detection strips and designed a procedure and data sheets to get data on numbers and ozone levels. We didn't notice any difference in our ozone strips so we were unable to make a conclusion about the effects of the traffic on surface ozone levels. Also as we were researching we found an article that said that vehicles don't actually give off surface ozone but they give off other chemicals that cause the creation of surface ozone so we found that our original hypothesis was flawed from the onset. We became curious about the percentage of traffic that was gas related so we counted all the vehicles for a couple of days. We found that the percentage was much less than we predicted. We predicted 25-40% but our actual results were 9 and 13% Still we thought that was a significant increase in general traffic in our area and the roads are showing the wear and tear. We were very surprised at the number of natural gas related vehicles that were passing our rural school everyday. .07 trucks per minute.