Stars and STEM Stories
GLOBE Ireland Air Quality Campaign 2021 Online Event Celebrates Work of GLOBE Students
On 20 May 2021, GLOBE Ireland hosted an end-of-the-year celebratory event for the Air Quality Campaign. More than 200 people participated in the event, including primary school student classes and secondary school groups, teachers, GIO Director Dr. Tony Murphy, Irish EPA Director Laura Burke, Irish EPA Air Quality and Citizen Science teams, GLOBE Europe Regional Office, Dana Votapkova, and scientists from Trinity College Dublin and Technical University Dublin.
The GLOBE Air Quality Campaign runs twice a year in Ireland, and is based on monitoring nitrogen dioxide, a traffic-related pollutant at schools. The Air Quality Campaign is supported by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Fifty-three schools registered to take part in the October 2020 campaign, and 112 schools registered to take part in the April 2021 campaign.
“GLOBE Ireland was delighted to see the increase in school participation during the year. Six schools presented their air quality stories during the end-of-year event,” Aileen Bright, GLOBE Ireland Deputy Country Coordinator said.
“This meeting gave the GLOBE Air Quality Campaign students an opportunity to present their work to a national and international audience. It also provided an opportunity for students to hear from the GIO Director, Dr. Tony Murphy, and Irish EPA Director, Laura Burke, who spoke about why the EPA values citizen science and why the GLOBE Air Quality Campaign is important to the EPA.
“Two aspects of this work are important,” Burke said. “First, students are raising awareness around air quality, and second, students are collecting good quality data which supports EPA decision making on the Irish environment.”
Students also heard from Trinity College Dublin scientist Dr. Kamila Kwasniewska, who spoke about Lichen as bioindicators of air pollution and presented the new Lichen-Art-Citizen Science collaboration between GLOBE Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, and the Irish Arts Council.
The audience were very impressed by the Lichen-Art-Citizen Science project and expressed how “it can be hard to picture air quality, representing it through art is really effective” (Anthony Purcell, EEU GLOBE Country Coordinator), and the “involvement of art is really brilliant, it brings air pollution, and its impacts, to life” (Laura Burke, EPA Director).
Chemistry teacher Clare Healy said, “Lucan Community College really appreciates being involved in the GLOBE campaign." Science teacher Ciaran Burke said, “Our students enjoyed participating and learning about the science of Air Quality. I hope to encourage more students to get involved next year.”
“This event promoted the benefits and opportunities for schools around participating in GLOBE,” GLOBE Ireland Deputy Country Coordinator Aileen Bright said. “The event also raised awareness around the value of meaningful citizen science data collection.”
To view the online event, click here.
This Star Story was submitted by GLOBE Ireland Deputy Country Coordinator Aileen Bright