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Why Is There Such A High Level Of Nitrogen Dioxide at the Entrance to Our School?

Organization(s):The King's Hospital
Student(s):Robert Duggan Thomas Eve
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Teacher:Ciaran O'Connor
Contributors:
Report Type(s):International Virtual Science Symposium Report
Protocols:Aerosols
Presentation Poster: View Document
Optional Badges:Be a Collaborator, Be a Data Scientist, Make An Impact
Language(s):English
Date Submitted:03/12/2020
The King's Hospital School
Abstract We had the air quality in different places in our school tested and found that at the front entrance it was the worst for any school in Ireland. We looked into why this was and what we can do to help. Our school entered into a project by GLOBE where they came and tested our air quality. When we got back the results we wanted to make a project to further understand the where and why of our poor air quality. We took the results and made a coloured graph ranging from good air quality to bad standard. We ended up with three results. The air around the back pitches was good enough, not perfect but not bad either. The air around the back was a bit worse, but still not terrible. However, around the entrance at the front was where we got Ireland’s worst result. In conclusion, we came up with three main reasons for the quality. The first was the M50 and N4 causing a lot of nitrogen oxide as many cars come by. The next was the bus stop about 50 yards from the front gate. The big buses make for a lot of fumes. The last reason was the speed bump at the gate. It is only a one-way road. It makes the cars stop and thus produce more nitrogen oxide with the stopping and starting. We found out that making the front entrance a two way system would help stop the situation to an extent. We also found more trees would help as they clear the air but they also make a physical barricade shielding the school.



Comments

Wow- I was seriously completely impressed with your research and your report! Not only did you explain why your are concerned about the results of your investigation, but you also described some very good suggestions for how to make changes.

It must have been surprising to learn your school had the worst air quality reading,and your explanation for why this is true- the closeness to the two main roads as well as the problems with cars stopping and starting in front of the school, make perfect sense.

I also really liked that you are working closely with Sabrina Moore, from Antaisce.

I have two questions to help me judge your project. The first question is can you give me more information about how the air quality was tested. Who were the GLOBE representatives who tested the air quality? Did they test it more than once? I also wondered what the company, Antaisce, does and how they supported your research.
Hi Dorian,

Thanks for your positive feedback on our project. We really were shocked to learn that our school had the worst air quality reading and this inspired us to work on this project.

An Taisce provided diffusion tubes to us and they were used to measure NO2 levels. We were provided with three separate tubes and we chose the three different locations around our school to place them. Each tube gave an average concentration over the period of measurement.

We were sent the test tubes in the post and positioned the tubes out of reach from the ground. We followed the instructions that we were given in regards to setting the tubes up, then we left them to test the air. After the testing period, we sent the tubes back to Gradko Laboratories who analysed the tubes for An Taisce in their laboratory.

Our air quality was tested for a four week period and the average concentration was the final result. For this project we used those initial results. We took part in the same program again this year and we were interested to see if the results changed. However, they were not available before submitting the project. They have since returned and show a similar trend to last year.

An Taisce is an Irish charity that works to protect the country’s heritage. They promote the conservation of Ireland's nature and biodiversity, they own a large number of properties including historic buildings and nature reserves. They also have an Environmental Education Unit which is responsible for developing and operating some of Ireland's most popular and successful environmental programmes and campaigns.
Last year, we worked alongside Sabrina Moore who helped establish the GLOBE air quality monitoring program in Ireland and gave us help and support as we completed the project. An Taisce assisted approximately 33 schools in Ireland to obtain NO2 results. Schools were able to compare the results that they achieved. We carried out our own research into the effects and causes of NO2 pollution.