Pasadena area schools mark Air Pollution Awareness Weeks

By Paula Torrado

Over the last few weeks, Air Alliance Houston committed to spreading awareness about air pollution at different schools in the Pasadena area. Our main goal for each week was to create stronger air quality ambassadors that focus on advocating for cleaner air policies. We implemented our air quality curriculum at Pasadena Memorial High School, Pasadena High School, Cleveland Baker Ripley and San Jacinto College.

The main lesson focused on educating students on air pollution and its direct effects on health while stressing the importance of becoming a strong advocate for clean air. Through air monitoring activities using AQTREKS, students were able to take real time air samples around the schools. AQTREKS is a tool that Air Alliance Houston provided to the educational districts to enable students to the chance to think scientifically about the air pollution that surrounds them. This helped the students to better understand how air pollution works and how it is affected by different factors. For example, schools in north Pasadena are surrounded by heavy truck traffic, refineries, chemical plants, and many other sources of pollution.

Through our Air Pollution Awareness Week, we wanted to inspire students to take steps, no matter how large or small, to reduce their school, house and their own individual contribution to air pollution. Educating students about air quality is the key to bringing cleaner air and a healthier future to the city of Pasadena. After our week taking samples and studying air pollution, these schools will start a school project to reduce their diesel emissions using the EPA Idle-Free Schools Kit.

Air Alliance Houston is crowdfunding education to ensure that our next generation knows how to monitor the health of our planet. Students will learn the power of data that can persuade elected officials to pass an anti-idling ordinance that will reduce emissions in schools drastically. After all, data, facts and education matter. They are the drivers of real evidence-based changes. Air Alliance Houston is committed to delivering better educational resources for air quality lessons to Houston-area students, and creating powerful voices in the air pollution discussion in the process.