2002 GASPer Air Congress

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Hotline, Summer 2002

by Rachel Filippini, GASPer Program Coordinator

What’s Floating in the Air at Ingomar? No, it’s not the title of a new horror flick or an investigative documentary on 20/20; it’s the title of just one of the presentations given by students that attended the 2002 GASPer Air Congress, held on May 16th at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tung Au Lab. Other topics included a mine fire investigation, a comparison of particulates in vocational-technical shops, and experiments in household radiation. Attendees of the GASPer Air Congress included students, teachers and parents from Quaker Valley High School, McKeesport Area High School, Ingomar Middle School, Boyce Campus Middle College High School, and Ambridge High School.

After being welcomed by GASP staff, students heard from Tony Sadar, a certified consulting meteorologist who assisted GASP in answering and asking students questions about their investigations.

CMU Supersite
Tour of CMU Supersite

Later in the day, students had the opportunity to visit the Lighting Our Way Display, provided by Conservation Consultants, Inc. (CCI) and staffed by Indigo Raffel of CCI. Here, attendees learned about the energy efficiency of compact fluorescent light bulbs. This tied in nicely to this year’s topic of discussion in the GASPer Air Monitor Program: Power Plants in Western PA. It was also appropriate since GASP gave each person in attendance a compact fluorescent of their own to take home.

The highlight of the day was a guided tour of CMU Environmental Institute’s Supersite in Schenley Park by Cliff Davidson, Director of the Environmental Institute. The Supersite allows researchers from Carnegie Mellon and other institutions to characterize airborne particulate matter (PM) by criteria such as size, surface, volume distribution, chemical composition, and morphology. It also allows them to quantify the impact of the various sources (i.e. transportation, power plants, etc.) to the PM concentrations in the area.

GASP would like to thank the following stores for so generously donating to the event: The Community Supermarket in Foxchapel, IKEA Pittsburgh, and Subway Restaurant on Craig St. in Oakland.

GASP plans to partner again next year with the Environmental Institute at Carnegie Mellon University to host another successful Air Congress. If you are an educator who wants to become involved in the GASPer Air Monitor Program, please call (412) 441-6650 or email gasp@gasp-pgh.org.