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GASP Offering Free Air Quality Education Kits to Allegheny County Middle Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

GASP Offering Free Air Quality Education Kits to Allegheny County Middle Schools

 

PITTSBURGH – The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) is inviting all middle schools in Allegheny County to take advantage of free Air Quality Education kits that will help students in grades 4-8 better understand air quality in our region.

GASP Education & Events Coordinator uses pig lungs to demonstrate how the organ works.

Thanks to a grant through the Allegheny County Clean Air Fund, GASP is offering three separate Air Quality Education kits that can be used in a classroom, after school, or summer camp setting. The kits include fun and interactive activities—such as observing real pig lungs, searching for bio-indicators of air pollution, and creating an energy-use comic strip—that assist students in understanding:

  • air quality and health
  • environmental science and citizen monitoring
  • and air quality, energy and technology

Teachers may borrow one, two, or all three kits completely free of charge. In addition to the instructional materials included with the kits, GASP’s education and events coordinator will conduct an Air Quality 101 presentation to each classroom borrowing the materials.

“It is difficult to expect people in the community to care about improving air quality if they don’t know that air pollution can adversely affect their health and quality of life,” GASP Education and Events Coordinator Chelsea Hilty said. “That’s one big reason why GASP conducts education with a variety of audiences from elementary age children up through senior citizens. We’re hopeful these kits can help us expand our educational reach even farther—and in the communities that need it most.”

While the kits are available to all school districts in Allegheny County, priority will be given to those in municipalities designated as high or highest need on the Allegheny County Environmental Justice Index. GASP will also be providing additional outreach in those neighborhoods.

“It is so important that our children—who are the next generation of civic and business leaders, health care professionals and engineers—as well as their parents, understand the importance of clean air,” GASP Executive Director Rachel Filippini said. “Educating students about air quality issues can also assist them and their school districts in meeting the state Department of Education academic standards for environment and ecology.”

The kits will be provided free of charge to middle schools throughout Allegheny County.

She added: “We believe the educational materials found in each of the three kits will assist teachers in better educating their students on these crucial issues.”

School teachers and administrators who would like to learn more about partnering with GASP and utilizing these free kits are encouraged to email Hilty at chelsea@gasp-pgh.org.

GASP is a nonprofit citizens’ group in Southwestern PA working for a healthy, sustainable environment. Founded in 1969, GASP has been a diligent watchdog, educator, litigator, and policy-maker on environmental issues, with a focus on air quality in the Pittsburgh region.

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Media Contact:
Amanda Gillooly
Communications Manager
amanda@gasp-pgh.org
412-924-0604 x206
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