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How Does Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) Vary Within 50 Kilometers of Lake Erie?

Student(s):Charlotte Clavet Lilyannah Dunigan Joselyn Zieleck
Grade Level:Middle School (grades 6-8, ages 11-14)
GLOBE Teacher:
Date Submitted: 02/28/2020
Shumate Citizen Science

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This research study was conducted by Shumate Middle School students: Charlotte Clavet (8th Grade), Lilyannah Dunigan (7th Grade), and Joselyn Zieleck (6th Grade), at Shumate Middle School (Gibraltar School District) located in Gibraltar, Michigan (United States of America). Our research team was tasked with measuring the Aerosol Optical Thickness in our atmosphere. All measurements were taken between October 1, 2019 through February 3rd, 2020. Our research question is, “What is the aerosol optical thickness (AOT) found in Gibraltar, Michigan (United States of America)?” With this question in mind, we organized research about aerosols, and we formulated our hypothesis that “the aerosol optimal thickness would range between 0.0 and 0.1 nm.” We also compared our findings to three other study sites located within 50 kilometers of Lake Erie. After the data was collected and analyzed, we found our hypothesis was incorrect. However, the data collected was incredibly close to the stated range in our hypothesis.